CODE 2, VOL 35, NO 41 : 21 DECEMBER 2021
PUBLIC HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENTS OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR PERIOD
It would not be the Christmas and New Year period without some confusion regarding what members are entitled to claim on the many public holidays across the period.
As a reminder, the relevant public holidays are:
Christmas Eve – 1800 to 2400 (part-day public holiday)
Friday, 24 December 2021
Saturday, 25 December 2021
Sunday, 26 December 2021
27 December (Christmas Day Additional Public Holiday)
Monday, 27 December 2021
28 December (Boxing Day Additional Public Holiday)
Tuesday, 28 December 2020
New Year’s Day
Saturday, 1 January 2022
3 January (New Year’s Day Additional Public Holiday)
Monday, 3 January 2022
As always, please be aware that the public holiday provisions and arrangements relevant to your work situation and roster will apply for each of these days.
As you would know, in accordance the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Employees Award – State 2016 (the Award), this means that if you are a continuous shift worker, on these dates you are entitled to the relevant public holiday penalty rates for any hours worked or an additional 8 hours’ pay (if rostered off duty, or on annual leave or long service leave).
For continuous shift workers, the Award also prescribes that:
1 - In the case of a part-day public holiday (such as Christmas Eve), the entitlement to an additional 8 hours' pay shall be proportionate to the number of hours out of the full day (24 hours) that has been gazetted as the public holiday.
In the case of Christmas Eve, one quarter (6 hours) of the day is gazetted as a public holiday so the proportionate entitlement is an additional 2 hours’ pay. Therefore, if you are rostered off duty, or on annual leave or long service leave between the hours of 1800 and 2400 on 24 December 2021, you are entitled to claim an additional 2 hours’ pay.
2 - If you perform less than 8 hours of rostered work on a public holiday, you shall receive an additional payment equal to the difference between the number of hours worked on the public holiday and 8 hours, at the rate of single time.
For example, if you worked a night shift that fell on one of the dates listed above, you may have only worked 6 hours on that day (particularly if it was your first night shift that commenced on the relevant date). In this case, you would therefore be entitled to claim an additional 2 hours’ pay (at single time) as that is equal to the difference between the number of hours worked on the public holiday (6 hours) and 8 hours.
With so many public holidays across the period, there is the possibility that errors may be made by QFES and/or Queensland Shared Services (QSS) in regard to your wages for the relevant dates.
If an error is made, in the first instance, please ensure you raise the issue with your regional HR contact as soon as possible.
If an issue remains unresolved, subsequent to contacting regional HR, please notify your local UFUQ representative for assistance.
If seeking assistance please ensure you provide your local UFUQ representative with the appropriate evidence for your claim, including the reasons provided to you by HR (preferably in writing) as to why your claim has not been accepted.
2.5% WAGE RISE 1 JANUARY 2022
Following on from the confusing period of wage deferrals during 2020, I am pleased to remind you that the final CA19 wage rise for all members covered by that agreement commences on 1 January 2022.
I remind those of you that received a wage rise in September 2021 as a result of the State Wage Case Decision, that you will only receive the difference between that September wage rise and the 2.5% 1 January 2022 wage rise.
I have no doubt it will take time for QFES/QSS to work through the application for the wage rise, so wait for a pay period or two before checking your wages have increased and if you’ve received any backpay if you didn’t get the rise immediately on 1 January 2022.
As always, go through your local HR and payroll support before escalating matters to the UFUQ.
ENTRY STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS
Your union is often asked about recruitment assessments and standards and the response is always the same – the UFUQ welcomes any person who passes the operational assessment standards to join the ranks of professional firefighting.
I am pleased to report that following some rumours, and what I constantly have reported to me about attempts to force changes on recruitment standards (and it’s never about anyone trying to toughen them up), the Queensland Minister for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (Minister Mark Ryan) recently provided the following information to Queensland state parliament in response to a question about standards for professional firefighting in Queensland –
‘QFES have advised that the current Firefighter recruitment assessments reflect the minimum standards required regardless of gender, age or background. This is as it should be and how it always will be.
The current merit-based standards are an appropriate, effective measure of the inherent job requirements of a FRS professional firefighter. By utilising these assessments QFES ensures successful candidates will possess the skills and ability to perform the role of a FRS professional firefighter.
I am advised by QFES that there are no plans to change or lower these standards.’
You can find a copy of this response to a question as tabled in parliament here
This information provided by QFES to the Minister, which he has tabled in parliament, puts to bed once and for all any of the rumours swirling around about changes to recruitment standards and I thank the Minister for his clear comments on the matter.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD