Member wins back full long service leave entitlement
A member in a Queensland Christian school has received their full long service leave entitlement, despite their employer’s attempt to pay it at a lower rate.
The member was on approved leave without pay when they resigned their teaching position at the school.
While on leave, the member had been awarded Senior Teacher classification – having submitted the application prior to commencing leave.
After making the decision to resign, the member contacted our union for advice about outstanding entitlements.
Our union advised the member they were entitled to be paid their outstanding long service leave at their current classification of Senior Teacher – inclusive of relevant wage increases that had been won in the latest collective agreement.
However, the employer’s position was that the leave would be paid at the member’s prior, lower classification.
A long service leave payment was made by the employer at this lower rate.
Following this, our union contacted the employer to reinforce that the payment should have been made at the Senior Teacher rate.
The employer then revoked the member’s Senior Teacher classification, arguing the member had not demonstrated the requirements of the classification.
Our union informed the employer that such a move amounted to adverse action against the member, as they were entitled to have accessed approved leave without pay, resigned their position and/or made legitimate queries about long service leave.
Following the employer's refusal to reconsider its position, our union lodged a dispute in the Federal Circuit Court.
While the employer failed to attend the first court date, they subsequently agreed to pay the long service leave entitlement at the Senior Teacher rate.
The member then received a further payment from the employer for the outstanding unpaid long service leave at the Senior Teacher classification.
Assistant Secretary Rebecca Sisson said employees have the right to receive their fair entitlements at work; however, due to the actions of employers, this does not always occur.
“In this instance, our union was able to support the member in winning back their fair long service leave entitlement,” Ms Sisson said.
“Upon resignation, or at any other time, members can contact our union to ensure they are receiving everything they are entitled to – it’s a key benefit of being a member.”
If you have a query about workplace entitlements, contact our union on FREECALL 1800 177 938 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org