CODE 2, VOL 34, NO 60 : 24 november 2020

RETURN OF PALASZCZUK GOVERNMENT = 17.5% ANNUAL LEAVE LOADING PAYMENT COMMENCES JULY 2021

You will recall that in correspondence to you prior to the state election on 31 October 2020, I reported that your union had successfully obtained funding from the Palaszczuk government for a return of your 17.5% annual leave loading, payable to all –
- Firefighters (all recruit, 4th, 3rd, 2nd & 1st class firefighter, senior and leading classifications and pay points)
- Station Officers (all classifications and pay points), and
- Fire Communication Officers and Supervisors (all classifications and pay points).
NOTE: The loading will not be paid to QFRS senior officers or FCM’s or FCMZ’s as they already receive additional rolled up payments.

I have written to the Commissioner, asking for an urgently convened working group to start discussions on how the payment will be made to you, following the commencement of its return to your terms and conditions of employment on 1 July 2021.

Some details about the 17.5% annual leave loading –
1. It is only payable to those employees in the classifications listed above.
2. It is calculated on your normal take home pay, so this means it’s calculated on top of your ordinary rate, along with your night and weekend allowances and your 38 hour week allowance.
3. It is only payable to any leave accrued after 1 July 2021, this means it IS NOT ACCRUED or paid on leave balances existing prior to 1 July 2021.
4. The UFUQ and QFRS/QSS have to start working to identify a smooth transition to you receiving the payment (it is always difficult when dealing with those responsible in QFRS and QSS for your payroll matters), and your union has a range of options available that we think might make the process as easy as possible, we will be putting those to QFRS as soon as the respond to our request to meet.

You lost leave loading in the Queensland government workplace reform process in the mid-1990’s, so this is a long overdue and I am sure you will all agree, welcome return to an entitlement you had, that was stripped from you, and one that QFRS were never interested in having returned to you.

With the recent news from the ATO that annual leave loading is to be considered as ordinary time earnings, annual leave loading becomes part of your wages for calculation of the employer’s superannuation payments to you, and to your voluntary contributions.  You may need to seek financial advice on that matter, and I advise that the UFUQ is not licenced to give members superannuation and/or taxation advice, as these matters are regulated by federal legislation, and only licenced providers can help you if you have questions.

I look forward to updating you on the commencement of your annual leave loading entitlement as the plans come together.

John Oliver - General Secretary

Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD