Revised leave arrangements for Catholic systemic schools

Member struggles in Catholic systemic schools resulted in enhanced conditions for personal and carers leave. Members should carefully check pay slips to ensure the revised arrangements are accurately reflected.

Teachers who were employed on the 31 December 2015 will be credited in the first full pay period with a one off entitlement of 15 days personal/carers leave (pro rata for part time). This one off entitlement reflects the change in accrual processes.

Importantly, a teacher employed from 1 January 2016 will receive the same one off entitlement as above when they commence their ‘first temporary block or permanent appointment’. This is in addition to the accrual of 15 days over the course of the year.

General employees

General employees employed immediately prior to 1 March 2016 and who have less than 15 days personal/carer;s leave will be credited with a one off entitlement to bring the leave up to 15 days (pro rata for part time).

All employees

Any sick leave/personal carer’s leave accrued prior to 1 January 2016 will be retained.

From 1 January 2016 full time employees will be entitled to 15 days personal/carer's leave for each year of service. This will accrue progressively over the year (pro rata for part time).

Personal/carer's leave is taken for illness, personal injury, unexpected personal emergency or domestic violence or to provide care and support to a member of the member’s immediate family or household member who requires support because of personal illness/injury or an unexpected emergency or domestic violence.

The definition of an unexpected emergency is a circumstance that is unplanned, due to circumstances beyond the member’s control and is of an urgent and serious nature.

Significantly, evidence will not be required for the first three days of personal/carer's leave in a school year. Post the first three days, a request can be made for evidence for each absence of two consecutive days or more, that is, not for single days.

Evidence (if requested) can be obtained from a GP or other health professional.

Evidence for a personal emergency or domestic violence (if requested) could be documentation acceptable to the employer or a statutory declaration.

Evidence for carer’s leave (if requested) could be from a GP, other registered health practitioner, or a statutory declaration.

Finally, and importantly, personal/carer’s leave not taken in a school year is cumulative and not subject to a cap. The removal of the cap on accumulation will benefit most teachers immediately and others over time. What has been achieved by members are compensatory measures that significantly enhance flexibility for taking leave and in the provision of evidence for same.

In addition to the above conditions, special leave will become available. This is one day per year (not cumulative) for family commitments, that is, attendance at a wedding or graduation ceremony.

Compassionate leave is also retained in the new enterprise agreement. This is three days on the death of a member of the family or household or two days in the case of serious illness.

Teachers and general employees in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes will retain the current arrangements regarding sick and carer’s leave.

Mark Northam
Assistant Secretary