CODE 2, VOL 34, NO 66 : 16 december 2020



After six long years of discussions and negotiations between your union and QFRS, your employer has decided to publish the secondary employment policy as it currently stands, and your union has warned QFRS about the problems due to vague content in the documents. They’ve decided to push on.

A short summary of the situation is that QFRS original intention was to force you to report any other employment you have, no matter how trivial.  Your union succeeded in pointing out how overbearing and unreasonable that is. It is up to you to decide if you report secondary employment or not.

To be clear you DO NOT have to report other employment to QFRS due to the existence of the secondary employment policy.

However, if you have other employment, I advise you consider the content of the policy particularly if you believe the employment may create a conflict of interest.  There are existing conflict of interest processes and reporting requirements, so the secondary employment policy is a bit of a lame duck and not really necessary.

If your other employment does not, in your opinion, cause a conflict of interest, it is still worth checking the lame duck secondary employment policy to see if your other employment might, in your opinion, cause some problems for you.

I want you to be aware that the policy states you ought to report other employment if, in your opinion, the work you do in that other employment breaches any of QFRS five values.  This is an overzealous attempt to control your entire lives, and so I suggest you consider your other employment, but the judgement and individual perception of the five values by senior management will be very interesting and your union will be watching very closely.

I suspect not many in QFRS management know much about respect, integrity, courage, loyalty or trust.  If they did, they wouldn’t be attempting to force their big brother style monitoring of you 24/7/365, because they’d respect your privacy, believe you conduct yourself with integrity, have the courage to speak up when you think you may be in the wrong, are loyal to QFRS and act accordingly, and that they trust you in these matters. The mere fact we are about to have this policy suggests otherwise.  It’s a sad time for the way QFRS is managed for so many reasons, this being one of them. 

To conclude this matter, my suggestion is that you read the policy and supporting documents if and when they’re finally published (I’ll put out another Code 2 when that happens), check you’re OK, and get on with life (unless conflict of interest is an issue, because then you’ll have to rely on an entirely different policy to manage that).

And, I’ll have more to say on the five values early in the new year.

John Oliver - General Secretary

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