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Home > News > 2019 > November > Fire emergency: advice to members

Fire emergency: advice to members

URGENT_MEMBER_ADVICE__FIRE_EMERGENCY.pngWith parts of Queensland in the midst of serious fire danger, our union would like to remind members of relevant Emergency and Natural Disaster Leave available to them under most collective agreements.

More than 50 fires are burning across the state, impacting many regions including Yeppoon in central Queensland, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley, the Darling Downs/ the Granite Belt, the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay and west of Gympie. 

Many other parts of the state are also experiencing increased fire risk due to severe conditions. Detailed fire risk updates can be found on the Rural Fire Service website. 

A smoke haze over Brisbane and the Gold Coast also raises concerns for those with respiratory or other health conditions. 

Fundamentally, where members have safety concerns for their family or property in the event of severe weather, they should remain at home and advise their school accordingly.

Emergency & Natural Disaster Leave provisions can be found in the collective agreements that apply to Queensland Catholic (Clause 6.10) and Anglican (Clause 16.46) schools as well as some independent schools.

Our union acknowledges that many employers are already taking a proactive approach to emergency and natural disaster incidents by advising employees to ensure their safety and providing access to relevant leave provisions.

School authorities are acting upon advice from emergency services and all employees should ensure they are collaborating with their school in taking appropriate action.

Where a provision exists in their agreement, employees can access paid leave if they are prevented from attending their workplace due to natural disaster or emergency such as fire, flooding, cyclonic disturbances or severe storms.

This leave allows employees to ensure the safety of themselves, their family and their property. This also applies where employees are unable to travel to and from their home or workplace.

Click here to download a copy of the Emergency and Natural Disaster Leave provision for Queensland Catholic school employees.

Employees in Catholic schools have access to up to five days of paid leave, while Anglican school employees have access to up to three days of paid leave.

Members in all other schools should refer to their collective agreement via our website to confirm whether such provisions are in place for their workplace.

Our union extends our best wishes for the safety of all members and their families at this time.

Members who experience issues accessing paid leave in these circumstances should contact our union on FREECALL 1800 177 938 for support.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.