November 13, 2019 Know Your Rights News Our Resources

By your SDA Information Officers, Diane and Veronica

Each day, over 100 phone calls and emails are received at the Union Office. Also, there are countless others asked around the shops, warehouses and fast food outlets.

It is very important that members receive the correct information from a reliable and trained source rather than relying on people’s best guesses. Because members are entitled to receive factual information, we strongly advise members to speak to their trained Shop Steward, Delegate or ring the Union Office. SDA Information Officers, Diane Kirk and Veronica Buckley have a wealth of knowledge and experience to assist members.

Here is a sample of some of those questions:

I will be starting a new job in one week’s time and I am unable to give the correct notice as stipulated in my Enterprise Agreement to my current employer. Will this short notice affect my termination pay in any way?

Yes, failing to give the correct notice to your current employer may result in a financial penalty. In your final pay, an employer is able to deduct money from your outstanding annual leave or long service leave accruals equivalent to the correct notice. To avoid this, we suggest you speak to your current employer and explain your difficulty. By mutual agreement, the notice can be waived.

Recently my grandfather passed away. I am a part-time employee working five days per week and I approached the manager for an understanding of my entitlements. I was told I would have to take time from my Sick/ Personal leave to attend the funeral. Is this correct?

The simple answer is no. In all Enterprise Agreements and the Modern Award, there is a stand-alone clause for Compassionate or Bereavement clause. This clause applies to full-time and part-time employees. The details of such clauses differ from Agreement to Agreement. Your Shop Steward or Delegate will have a copy of your Enterprise Agreement and they will be more than happy to clarify matters with you. Failing that, you are most welcome to ring or email the union office for further clarification.

How many days in a row can I work?

All Enterprise Agreements and Awards have clauses stating how many consecutive days full-time, part-time and casual employees can work before they are entitled to overtime payments. Once again, it is very important to check the Enterprise Agreement or Award for further clarification.

I had to go the toilet during my working hours and was told by a manager that I wasn’t allowed to go. Can they do this?

No, no, no! Shame, shame, shame! You may go to the toilet on a needs basis and you are not required to wait for a break. If you are being denied reasonable access to the toilet, have a chat to your Shop Steward, Delegate or call the Union Office.