CODE 2, VOL 35, NO 39 : 01 december 2021


Following efforts by your union in 2019, 2020 and 2021, I am pleased to report that this week’s pay for eligible members will include the first component of the 17.5% annual leave loading.

There is a bit to explain, so I’ve covered off all the information you need to know about this payment.

NOTE: All examples and calculations are for full-time firefighters and fire communication officers.

17.5% of 200 hours annual leave:
The first and important point to make is that firefighters and fire communication officers receive 200 hours annual leave.  You also receive additional hours accrued time that forms either a part of your rotating leave roster hours (firefighters), or your Z shift hours (fire communication officers).

The annual leave loading you now accrue is paid only on the 200 hours annual leave.

This equates to an additional 35 hours pay each year paid (17.5% of 200 is 35) as annual leave loading, in the first pay period of December each calendar year.

NOTE: This year, you will only receive the amount accrued since 1 July 2021 (so less than 13 pay periods of accrual).  Every year from now on, it will be the full annual accrual of 35 hours paid. There is more on this below.

Your payslip may show peculiar calculations:
Because the Aurion pay system was designed, quickly and badly, by people who know nothing about how firefighters and fire communication officers pay actually works, it has lots of frustrating limitations.  One of the examples of this is that your leave loading calculation amounts may show 17.5% or it may show 11.22%.

Both are correct and relate to the way Aurion calculates your entitlement (those showing 11.22% are a result of Aurion being unable to split the 200 hours annual leave from the extra accrued leave used for the rotating leave roster, and so 11.22% of 312 hours is the same as 17.5% of 200 hours).

The other example of this is the number 14.61 being the number of hours being paid as loading.  This number is a calculation of the total number of pay periods since 1 July 2021 and the pay date in December when you receive your payment.  This calculation looks like this –
• 17.5% of 200 hours = 35 hours (your annual leave loading entitlement expressed in additional hours pay).
• You are paid fortnightly, so the full accrual is broken into approximately 35 hours / 26 pay periods (fortnights in the year) = 1.35 (your fortnightly accrual amount in hours per fortnight).
• Your accrual commenced on 1 July 2021, so as at 1 December 2021 the accrual is approximately 1.35 x the number of pay periods between 1 July and your first pay in December = 14.61.
• So your accrual to be paid (in hours) is approximately 14.61 in December 2021.

Your union has assessed the calculations as provided by QSS and QFES and we believe you are being paid the correct percentage.  Please contact the state office if you have evidence otherwise.

Good news:
Whilst there’s a lot of explaining about the eligibility, calculation and payment of the annual leave loading, the good news is your union obtained this payment for you, funded by Queensland Treasury in an ongoing way.  You will receive this annual amount each December and we celebrate with you about this great outcome, obtained under difficult circumstances and following some difficult negotiations. Only the UFUQ is working to obtain great benefits for members such as this.

Only the UFUQ campaigned for and negotiated this entitlement.

Only the UFUQ obtained this entitlement. 

Only the UFUQ works to improve the conditions of our members.

You will all recall the Senior Officers’ Union lodged a QIRC claim to prevent you from receiving this allowance, simply because they thought they might miss out on it. When senior officers who are not members of the UFUQ read this Code 2 (and I know they will, as I know that Code 2’s are closely monitored by all sorts of people who are not UFUQ members), I suggest they speak to the UFUQ Senior Officers Branch about the true history of this benefit.

John Oliver - General Secretary

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