Members may have employees who have, or will, request time off to support their local community in roles such as volunteer firefighting. Members are reminded that all employees – including casuals – can take community service leave for voluntary emergency management activities.
The National Employment Standards (‘NES’) entitles employees who are members of a recognised emergency management body to take unpaid community service leave for certain emergency management activities.
The NES does not specify the amount of time a person can take for unpaid community service leave, however it must be reasonable having consideration for:
- the time the employee is engaged in the activity
- reasonable travel time associated with the activity
- reasonable rest time immediately following the activity
It is important that Members are aware of this leave provision so that any leave requests may be considered and responded to in a timely fashion, as well as the obligations of the employee requesting the leave. These obligations include:
- informing their employer as soon as practical about their intention to take leave
- the expected period of leave
- provision of any required evidence of the reason for leave
Members who operate under an Enterprise Agreement are encouraged to review that instrument to identify if there are any Community Service Leave entitlements above those in the NES. Please contact 1300 111 636 with any questions about community service leave.