Unpaid pandemic leave provisions in the Federal award are extended

The operation of the unpaid pandemic leave provisions in Schedule X of the Local Government Industry Award 2020 (LGIA) have been extended to 30 June 2022. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) Decision [2021] FWC 6636 can be viewed here.

The FWC decided it would not extend the annual leave provisions (to take annual leave at half pay) in Schedule X on its own motion. Parties that are eligible may seek to extend these provisions by a separate application pursuant to s.159 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The LGIA will be updated soon to reflect the decision and extend the operation of unpaid pandemic leave in Schedule X. The latest version of the LGIA can be accessed here.

The history and a summary of the Federal pandemic leave provisions was provided via ER Alerts 27 and 29.

For Local Governments operating in the State industrial relations system, there is no unpaid pandemic leave in the Local Government specific State awards. In addition, the COVID-19 Flexible Leave Arrangements General Order of the WA Industrial Relations Commission ceased operation on 31 March 2021. Please see the Statement here.

2022 ALGA Local Government Skills Shortage Survey

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has released a national Local Government Skills Shortage Survey which can be completed by 31 January 2022 using the following methods: The ALGA Survey will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete once relevant data has been sourced and should be completed by Human Resource Managers or an officer best positioned to report on:
  • current and emerging skills need of Local Government, and
  • change drivers, opportunities and barriers to enhancing Local Government workforce capability.
A copy of the survey to assist you with preparing your answers can be viewed here. SGS Economics and Planning is overseeing survey implementation and reporting, in consultation with ALGA and WALGA.

Any questions about the ALGA Survey should be directed to Michelle Tjondro at MTjondro@sgsep.com.au if they are not addressed via the SGS FAQs.

Please note the ALGA Survey is separate to and different from the 2021/22 WALGA Salary and Workforce Survey.
 
Dismissal of employee who refused flu vaccine was not unfair
 
Vicky Cullen, Senior Employee Relations Consultant at WALGA, has written an article for the LGIS Risk Matters publication on the decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in Jennifer Kimber v Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Ltd [2021] FWCFB 6015 which can be viewed here.

This case provides useful guidance for employers on steps to take if an employee refuses to be vaccinated pursuant to Public Health Directions.
 
2022 People and Culture Seminar – Save the date!
 
The WALGA Governance and Organisational Services team is excited to announce our annual Seminar will be on again on Friday, 8 April 2022. This full day seminar will offer presentations and practical guidance on contemporary and future people and culture issues within the Local Government sector.

CEOs, senior staff, line managers, human resources practitioners, and governance and training officers of all Local Governments and Associate Members are encouraged to attend. Keep watch for further updates on the WALGA website as we finalise the program. Registrations will open in the new year.

For more information please email Governance and Organisational Services Officer Naoimh Donaghy or call 9213 2079. 
 
WALGA Christmas closure

The WALGA offices, including WALGA Employee Relations, will be closed from 12:00pm Friday, 24 December 2021 and will re-open on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.
 
If you are an ER subscriber you may find answers to your COVID-19 queries within our FAQs and template resources on our website here, noting you will need to be logged in to view the resources.

With the passing of the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (WA) on 16 December 2021, information about the proposed State IR transition for the Sector can be found here.

If you have any questions about this alert, please email WALGA Employee Relations  or call 1300 366 956.