Leave - bushfire, flood or other severe weather event

As part of the Department’s duty of care principals/managers need to ensure they act sensitively towards employees whose circumstances require them to be absent from the school/workplace as a result of bushfire, flood or other severe weather event.  Employees are affected in many ways either directly through the loss of family or friends or through the loss of their homes and property or indirectly.

Leave with pay is available where an employee is prevented from attending their school or workplace because of bushfire, flood or other severe weather event as set out below.

Pre-emptive closure - Code Red

Schools and children's services, (including kindergartens and child care centres) determined by the Department to be at high-risk of fire danger have been placed on the Department’s Bushfire At-Risk Register.   Schools and children’s services that have been identified as being at high fire risk will be closed on a day declared Code Red.

An employee whose school/workplace is closed due to high risk of fire will be granted leave with pay for that day unless the Regional Director determines it is appropriate for that employee to attend an alternate workplace on that day. 

Where the school/workplace is open, employees are expected to report for duty at their usual place of work in the normal manner.  However, where an employee is unable to attend for duty for reasons including:

  • road closures on a day declared Code Red that may prevent an employee from attending for duty at their usual workplace; 
  • enactment of an employee’s bushfire survival plan which may include evacuation of the employee’s family;
  • providing care for their child(ren) whose school/other children’s service or school bus route is closed and for whom no alternative care arrangements could be made;

the employee may be granted leave with pay where the Regional Director (or principal in the case of school employees) is satisfied that the absence was necessary and unavoidable on that day. 

Bushfire, flood or other severe weather event

An employee whose school/workplace is closed due to bushfire, flood or other severe weather event will be granted leave with pay for up to five days unless the Regional Director determines it is appropriate for that employee to attend an alternate workplace. 

Where the school/workplace is open, employees are expected to report for duty at their usual place of work in the normal manner.  However, where an employee is unable to attend for duty for reasons including:

  • protection of their property;
  • road closures;
  • providing care for their child(ren) whose school/other children’s service or school bus route is closed and for whom no alternative care arrangements could be made;
  • evacuation of their family as a result of the bushfire, flood or other severe weather event;

the employee may be granted leave with pay where the Regional Director (or principal in the case of school employees) is satisfied that the absence was necessary and unavoidable on that day. 

General

An employee who is prevented from attending their school or workplace because of bushfire, flood or other severe weather event in circumstances not covered by this policy may be eligible for leave with pay under this policy.  Such an application will be considered on its merits having regard to the reasons the employee is unable to attend for duty.

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