“I would have like to have stayed but I need to go back to work”
Aim To examine provisions made available to nurses within Australian public employment agreements to respond to disasters
Methodology Examination and key word search Key Words Disaster Emergency Bushfire Flood Response
Analysis Removal of other terms Emergency Department Emergency Leave Emergency Duty
Tasmania Nurse and Midwives Heads of Agreement 2010 Not defined
Northern Territory Northern Territory Public Sector, nurses’ 2008 – 2011 union collective agreement Not defined
Queensland Nurses and Midwives (Queensland Health) Certified Agreement (EB7) 2009 Not defined
New South Wales Public Health System Nurses and Midwives (State) Award 2011
NSW 32. Family And Community Services Leave And Personal/Carers’ Leave (b) The appropriate Chief Executive or authorised delegate may grant FACS Leave to an employee: (4) in a case of pressing necessity (e.g. where an employee is unable to attend work because of adverse weather conditions which either prevent attendance or threaten life or property; the illness of a relative; where a child carer is unable to look after their charge).
NSW (vii) FACS leave – entitlement The maximum amount of FACS Leave on full pay that may be granted to an employee is: - 3 working days during the first year of service, commencing on and from 1 January 1995, and thereafter 6 working days in any period of 2 years; or - 1 working day, on a cumulative basis effective from 1 January 1995, for each year of service after 2 years‟ continuous service, minus any period of FACS Leave already taken by the employee since 1 January 1995, whichever method provides the greater entitlement.
NSW - Other Section VIII: Emergency Department Staffing Arrangements D5 The facility must have a contingency plan to backfill nurses in the event that they are called out as part of a disaster team.
South Australia Nurses/Midwives (South Australian Public Sector) Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2010 126.96.36.199 Urgent Pressing Necessity: A matter that must be attended to by the employee that cannot be reasonably attuned to by the employee outside the employees ordinary hours of work. Examples of urgent pressing necessity include: (b) Protection of the employees family/property directly affected by flood or bushfire.
Western Australia Registered Nurses, Midwives And Enrolled Mental Health Nurses Australian Nursing Federation – WA Health Industrial Agreement 2010 Section 41. Emergency Services Leave Subject to operational requirements, paid leave of absence shall be granted by the employer to an employee who is an active volunteer member of State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance Australia, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Brigades, Volunteer Marine Rescue Services Groups or FESA Units, in order to allow for attendances at emergencies as declared by the recognised authority.
Western Australia (2) The Employer shall be advised as soon as possible by an employee, the emergency service, or other person as to the absence and, where possible, the expected duration of leave. (3) The employee must complete a leave of absence form immediately upon return to work. (4) The application form must be accompanied by a certificate from the emergency organisation certifying that the employee was required for the specified period. (5) An employee, who during the course of an emergency, volunteers their services to an emergency organisation, shall comply with subclauses (2), (3) and (4) of this clause.
ACT 125. Community Service Leave - Voluntary Emergency Management Eligibility 125.9 An employee who is a member of a relevant emergency service, including: (a) a State or Territory Emergency Service; (b) a fire-fighting service; (c) a search and rescue unit; or (d) other volunteer service performing similar functions is eligible for community service leave for voluntary emergency management. 125.10 A casual employee who is a member of a relevant emergency service is eligible to unpaid community service leave for voluntary emergency management service.
ACT Entitlement 125.11 Eligible employees are entitled to be absent on unpaid leave to engage in a voluntary emergency management activities, subject to operational requirements in the workplace. 125.12 Eligible employees, other than casual employees, are eligible for up to four days paid community service leave for voluntary emergency management per emergency. 125.13 Community service leave for voluntary emergency management is non-cumulative.
ACT Evidence and Conditions 125.14 An employee should discuss their intention to be absent on paid or unpaid Community Service for voluntary emergency management with their manager/supervisor as soon as practicable, which may be a time after the absence has started. The employee must advise the manager/supervisor of the period, or expected period, of the absence. 125.15 An employee must make an application to the Chief Executive to access their paid community service leave for voluntary emergency management entitlement. 125.16 The employee must, if requested by the Chief Executive, provide sufficient documentary evidence of the reason for the absence. 125.17 The Chief Executive may grant paid community service leave for voluntary emergency management to enable the employee to fulfil an obligation in the event of a civil emergency. 125.18 Having considered the requirements of this clause the Chief Executive may approve an employee’s application to access paid community service leave for voluntary emergency management. Adecisionnot to approve the leave will be taken in accordance with subclause 112.2.
ACT Rate of Payment 125.19 Paid leave granted for community service leave for voluntary emergency management is paid at the employee’s ordinary hourly rate of pay. Effect on Other Entitlements 125.20 A period of recognised community service leave for voluntary emergency management will count as service for all purposes. 125.21 Public holidays for which the employee is entitled to payment that fall during periods of absence on paid community service leave for voluntary emergency management will be paid as a normal public holiday and will not be considered to be community service leave for voluntary emergency management. Additional Leave 125.22 Additional paid leave may be approved by the Chief Executive for any voluntary emergency management duties required to be performed by an employee who is a member of a State or Territory Emergency Service.
Schedule 10 Other Leave Leave to: Cope with an emergency or disaster Purpose Where an employee is affected by a disaster which has destroyed or significantly damaged the employee’s usual place of residence or its contents. Eligibility An employee whose home is wholly or partly uninhabitable for health or safety reasons. Entitlement A maximum period of three days in each consecutive period 12 months Rate of payment: Full pay.
Schedule 10 Other Leave Leave to: Engage in employment in the interests of defence or public safety Purpose To enable the employee to engage in work or employment that the Chief Executive considers is in the interests of the defence or public safety of the Commonwealth or the Territories. Entitlement A maximum period of two years. Rate of payment Without pay.
ACT - Other ACT Public Sector Nursing and Midwifery Enterprise Agreement 2010 -2011 163. Occupational Health And Safety OH&S Training 163.3 The Agencies will continue to provide training for their employees in areas including, but not limited to: Risk Assessment and Management; Preventative Occupational Health and Safety; Incident Management and Response; Disaster Prevention, Management and Response.
Limitations Public agreements Health service policy
Discussion Consistency Sustainability Decision making processes