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Preparing your employees for remote working, leave from the workplace or temporary business closure? Protect your business and people with clear documentation. Simply join for free to download:

Leave Policy | Letter to Employee Advising Stand Down | Mental Health Policy | Working from Home Checklist | Working from Home Policy | Ergonomics Checklist

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Who can use this Policy

This Leave Policy can be used by. all employers throughout Australia, except the following excluded employers:

  • Non-constitutional corporation employers in Western Australia
  • State public sector employers (ie employees of a Minister, the Governor or the Crown); and
  • Local Government employers — except Tasmania.

Commentary

Employees have a range of entitlements in relation to certain types of leave. The types of leave that are dealt with in this Leave Policy are annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave, long service leave, and community services leave (which includes jury service and voluntary emergency services).

More Important Information

These entitlements may differ in some respects for certain types of employees, for example, day workers and shift workers; agreement-covered employees; award-covered employees; or award/agreement free employees. They also differ depending on the detail of the award or agreement that applies to the employee.

Certain entitlements may also be affected by state and territory legislation including long service leave and community service leave (e.g. relating to payment for jury service).

The Leave Policy allows employers to account for these different types of employees in one policy.

Before using or implementing the leave policy, please ensure that it is consistent with any enterprise agreement, contract, or award which applies to the employees in your workplace. The Policy should also be supplemented by a policy on parental leave and leave without pay - those policies can be found in the Policies tab of the HR Advance website.

Note: Some of the entitlements which appear in this policy (for example community service leave) commenced on 1 January 2010.

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Who can use this correspondence

This document can be used by all employers throughout Australia, except the following excluded employers:

  • Non-constitutional corporation employers in Western Australia
  • State public sector employees (i.e. employees of a Minister, the Governor, or the Crown) and
  • Local government employers — except in Tasmania and Victoria.
  • Excluded employers may however, wish to use this document, but they should first obtain legal advice.

Commentary

When is an employer permitted to stand down an employee?

The Act permits an employer to stand down an employee when the employee cannot usefully be employed because of any of the following circumstances:

  • Industrial action which is organised or engaged in by the employees of the business; or
  • A breakdown of machinery or equipment for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible; or
  • A stoppage of work for any reason for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible. For example, this may include a natural disaster ie. Cyclone, flood, bushfire etc.

An employer is not required to pay an employee during a stand down period.

What if the business has an industrial instrument or contract of employment containing stand down provisions?

If there is an industrial instrument (for example, an award or enterprise agreement), or a contract of employment that applies to an employee’s employment that contains a provision relating to stand down, the provision in those instruments may apply. If you are unsure of whether a provision in an industrial instrument or a contract of employment relating to stand down applies, you should seek specific advice.

However, such a provision will only apply where it permits an employer to stand down an employee where the employee cannot be usefully employed, due to the reasons listed above (being industrial action, breakdown, or a stoppage of work). If the provision allows an employer to stand down an employee for a reason other than that listed above, an employer will not be permitted to stand down an employee for that reason.

What if the industrial instrument or contract of employment contains other pre-conditions?

It is not uncommon for an industrial instrument or contract of employment, which allows an employer to stand down an employee, to provide other pre-conditions to be met before an employee can be stood down.

Common pre-conditions include the requirement to consult with employees, or to provide employees with a certain amount of notice.

Therefore, employers must ensure that they comply with the provisions of a stand down provision in any relevant industrial instrument or contract of employment before implementing a stand down.

Use of other leave accrual entitlements during stand down period

This letter provides employees with the option of making an election to use any accrued leave entitlements (such as annual leave or long service leave) during the stand down period.

Whilst an employer is not required to pay an employee during a stand down period (subject to any terms to the contrary in an industrial instrument or contract of employment), employees may elect to use any accrued entitlements during the period to ensure that they continue to receive payment.

Any approval or non-approval for the taking of leave accruals should be in accordance with any applicable workplace policy, and the relevant legislation.

While this letter may be used to stand down employees who cannot usefully be employed because of industrial action, it should not be used for employees who are taking industrial action as payments to employees taking industrial action are prohibited under relevant legislation.

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Who can use this correspondence

This policy can be used by all employers

Commentary

Mental illness affects millions of employees in Australia. It is often difficult for managers and employees to understand and manage mental illness in the workplace.

This Policy is designed to help parties deal with mental health issues by:

  • Explaining the importance of positive mental health;
  • Setting out steps for  improving and maintaining positive mental health;
  • Defining mental illness and providing examples of common symptoms;
  • Encouraging employees to seek professional help in circumstances where they might be experiencing mental illness; and
  • Providing contact details for organisations that provide counselling and support for people suffering from mental illness.

The Policy aims to encourage employees to report mental health issues to the employer. This means that an organisation that wishes to adopt the Policy will need to ensure that it has appropriate processes in place for receiving and managing reports about mental health issues. The Policy has been drafted to avoid imposing specific obligations on the employer in this regard.

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Who can use this checklist?

This checklist can be used by all employers.

Commentary

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as telecommunications technology develops at a rapid rate and workplace participants are increasingly requesting flexible working arrangements to help balance work and family commitments.

This checklist should be used in conjunction with the Working From Home Policy as a tool to ensure compliance when employees are working from home.

More Important Information

The checklist includes a compliance check with the general layout of an employees work space, the supervision requirements for the employee; safety compliance in particular chemical safety, electrical services, ergonomics and first aid/injury management. If you identify hazards in the workplace of an employee who is working from home, you should take steps to ensure that these hazards and the risks associated are minimised.

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Who can use this policy

This policy can be used by all employers.

Commentary

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as telecommunications technology develops at a rapid rate and workplace participants are increasingly requesting flexible working arrangements to help balance work and family commitments.

More Important Information

This policy includes provisions dealing with: eligibility criteria; particular conditions that may apply; work health and safety issues; and the home office location.

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This checklist is designed to assist in conducting an ergonomic assessment of a workstation setup.

This checklist will help you address the ergonomic/workstation issues in your workplace and reduce the risk of injuries. Complete this checklist for all individual workstations and consult with employees during this process.

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