On average, people spend around 25% of their total waking hours working. For some people, it is even higher. So it makes sense to ensure you are in a team that has a strong ethical foundation, you have a voice in team decisions, you can have an impact, and most of all feel like you are growing. It is also important that standards of employment are fair and competitive.
VSPRY will not request or require a team member to work more than the following hours of work in a week, unless the additional hours are reasonable:
The hours a team member works in a week includes any hours of leave or absence (paid or unpaid) that is authorised:
A team member may refuse to work additional hours if they are unreasonable. In determining whether additional hours are reasonable or unreasonable, VSPRY will take into account:
VSPRY adopts a 10 week averaging period, whereby a team member cannot be requested or required to work more than 380 hours over a 10 week period.
A team member may request a change in their working arrangements with VSPRY if they require flexibility because they:
If a team member is the parent of a child or has responsibility for the care of a child and is returning to work after taking parental or adoption leave, the team member may request to return to work on a part-time basis to help them care for the child.
Examples of changes in working arrangements may include:
Team members are not entitled to make the request unless they have completed at least 3 months of continuous service with VSPRY immediately before making the request.
Casual team members are entitled to make a request if:
A request for a change in working arrangements must be made in writing by a team member, and set out details of the change sought and reasons for the change. VSPRY will provide the requesting team member with a written response to the request within 14 days, stating whether the request has been accepted or refused. VSPRY may refuse the request only on reasonable business grounds, and such decision will be provided in writing which will include the reasons for the refusal.
Reasonable business grounds for refusing a request for flexible working arrangements include but are not limited to:
Parental leave includes birth-related leave and adoption-related leave, with VSPRY recognising same sex de-facto relationships. In addition to unpaid parental leave, VSPRY also provides the following related entitlements:
All team members are eligible for unpaid parental leave if they have completed at least 12 months of continuous service with VSPRY. This includes casual team members, but only if:
Each eligible team member of a parenting couple may take a separate period of up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. However, if only one person is taking leave, or if one member of a parenting couple wishes to take more than 12 months leave, the team member may request a further period of up to 12 months, from VSPRY. A ‘parenting couple’ is where two team members (not necessarily of the same VSPRY) are in a spousal or de-facto relationship. Parental leave is only available to team members who have or will have responsibility for the care of a child. The leave must be associated with:
The ‘child of a person’ is defined by the Family Law Act 1975 as someone who is a person’s biological, adopted or step child. A team member’s ‘de-facto partner’ is defined as a person who, although not legally married to the team member, lives with them in a relationship as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. Former de-facto partners are also included. The Fair Work Act 2009 ensures that same sex de-facto relationships are recognised for unpaid parental leave entitlements. This means that the same sex de-facto partner of either a person who gives birth or a biological parent may be eligible to take unpaid birth-related leave. There are different rules for taking unpaid parental leave, depending on:
The following rules apply where one parent (or only one member of a parenting couple) takes leave:
The following rules apply to a parenting couple if both take unpaid parental leave:
A team member taking 12 months parental leave may request an extension of a further 12 months leave (up to 24 months in total), unless they are a member of a parenting couple and the other member has already taken 12 months of leave. The request must be in writing and given to VSPRY at least four weeks before the end of the team member’s initial period of parental leave. VSPRY must respond in writing within 21 days, stating whether they grant or refuse the request. VSPRY may only refuse if we have given the team member a reasonable opportunity to discuss their request, and there are reasonable business grounds to do so, with such reasons provided in writing. Reasonable business grounds for refusing a request may include:
A pregnant team member wanting to work the six weeks before birth may be asked by VSPRY to provide a medical certificate containing the following:
if the team member is fit for work, a statement of whether it is inadvisable for the team member to continue in her present position because of:
VSPRY may require the team member to take a period of unpaid parental leave as soon as possible if the team member:
This form of directed leave runs until the end of the pregnancy or until the planned leave was due to start, and is deducted from the team member’s unpaid parental leave entitlement. It is exempt from the rules about when the leave must start, that it be taken in a continuous period, and notice requirements. A team member is not entitled to take unpaid parental leave unless they:
at least four weeks before the intended start date:
Where concurrent leave is to be taken in separate periods, these notice requirements apply to the first period of that leave. For second and subsequent periods, the team member must provide VSPRY with 4 weeks notice. VSPRY may require evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person of the actual or expected date of birth of a child (e.g. a medical certificate), or the day or expected day of placement of a child under 16.
An eligible pregnant team member can reduce or cancel their period of unpaid birth-related parental leave if their pregnancy ends due to their child being stillborn, or if their child dies after birth. Whether leave is cancelled or reduced, the team member’s entitlement to unpaid parental leave ends immediately before the day they are specified to return to work. These provisions don’t limit VSPRY or a team member agreeing to reduce the period of unpaid parental leave once it has started, should an agreement be reached. An eligible pregnant team member is entitled to take unpaid special maternity leave if the team member is not fit for work because of:
A team member must give VSPRY notice they are taking unpaid special maternity leave as soon as possible (which may be after the leave has started), and the expected period of leave. VSPRY may require evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person (e.g. a medical certificate). The entitlement to unpaid parental leave is not reduced by the amount of any unpaid special maternity leave taken by the team member while they are pregnant.
A pregnant team member has an entitlement to be transferred to an ‘appropriate safe job’. An appropriate safe job is a job that has:
This entitlement applies if the team member has provided evidence (e.g. a medical certificate) that would satisfy a reasonable person that they are fit for work, but that it is inadvisable for them to continue in their present position during a period because of:
If this requirement is met and there is an appropriate safe job available, the team member must be transferred to that job for the risk period, with no other change to the team member’s terms and conditions of employment. VSPRY will pay the team member at their full rate of pay for the position they were in before the transfer and for the hours they work during the risk period. If there is no appropriate safe job available, and the team member is entitled to unpaid parental leave then the team member is entitled to take paid ‘no safe job leave’ for the risk period, and be paid at their base rate of pay for ordinary hours of work during the risk period. If there is no appropriate safe job available, and the team member is not entitled to unpaid parental leave then the team member is entitled to take unpaid ‘no safe job leave’ for the risk period. If a team member is on paid no safe job leave during the six week period before the expected date of birth, VSPRY may ask the team member to give VSPRY a medical certificate stating whether they are fit for work. VSPRY may require the team member to take a period of unpaid parental leave, if they are eligible, as soon as practical if:
The no safe job leave ends when the period of unpaid parental leave starts.
Team members on unpaid parental leave are entitled to be kept informed of decisions by VSPRY that will have a significant effect on the status, pay or location of their pre-parental leave position. VSPRY must take all reasonable steps to give the team member information about (and an opportunity to discuss) the effect of any such decisions on the team member’s position. The team member’s pre-parental leave position is the position they held before starting the unpaid parental leave, or the position they held before they were transferred to a safe job or reduced their hours due to the pregnancy. A team member is guaranteed to return to work immediately following a period of unpaid parental leave, entitling them to:
Before engaging a team member to perform the work of the team member on leave, VSPRY is required to notify the replacement team member:
The Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 makes provision for keeping in touch days. A keeping in touch day is when a team member performs work for VSPRY on a day or part of a day while on a period of approved leave. Such a day (or part of a day) will be considered a keeping in touch day if:
A team member who performs work on a keeping in touch day is entitled to payment from VSPRY in accordance with their contract of employment. A keeping in touch day will not break the single continuous period of unpaid parental leave.
All team members (regardless of their length of service) are entitled to up to two days of unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend any interviews or examinations required for the adoption of a child. This leave may be taken as:
VSPRY may, however, direct a team member to take another form of leave (e.g. paid annual leave) before accessing their unpaid pre-adoption leave entitlement. A team member must give VSPRY notice they are taking unpaid pre-adoption leave and the expected duration as soon as possible (which may be after the leave has started) and, if required, evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person.
Team members may also have an entitlement to the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme, which provides government-funded Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay at the National Minimum Wage to team members who meet the eligibility criteria. For more information about government-funded paid parental leave, team members should contact the Department of Human Services’ website at www.humanservices.gov.au or call them on 13 61 50.
A team member (other than a casual team member) accumulates four weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with VSPRY. A team member’s entitlement to annual leave accumulates continuously based on the number of ordinary hours they work. Annual leave continues to accumulate when a team member takes a period of paid annual leave or paid personal/carer’s leave. Annual leave will not accumulate on unpaid leave unless it is community service leave.
A team member classified as a ‘shift-worker’ is entitled to five weeks paid annual leave, which applies to team members whom:
A team member is not on annual leave if the period during which a team member takes annual leave:
Annual leave is paid at the team member’s base pay rate for all ordinary hours worked. Ordinary hours cannot exceed 38 hours in a week. The base rate does not include:
On termination of employment, VSPRY will pay a team member for any period of un-taken annual leave. The payment for the un-taken leave will be the same as what the team member would have been paid if they took the leave.
VSPRY's employment contracts outline when and how annual leave is taken, along with:
If a team member takes leave in advance and their employment ends before they've accumulated it all back, VSPRY will deduct the amount still owing from their final pay.
VSPRY can direct a team member to take annual leave, but only if the request is reasonable, in circumstances including but not limited to:
In assessing reasonableness, VSPRY will consider:
In certain circumstances VSPRY can direct a team member to take annual leave when they have an excessive annual leave balance, which is defined as more than:
Team members may "cash out" annual leave in certain circumstances, by agreement with VSPRY. To qualify for consideration:
The term ‘personal/carer’s leave’ effectively covers both sick leave and carer’s leave. Team members receive:
A team member’s entitlement to paid personal/carer’s leave accrues progressively during a year of service according to the number of ordinary hours worked, and accumulates from year to year. Personal/carer’s leave continues to accrue when a team member takes a period of paid personal/carer’s leave or paid annual leave. Personal carer’s leave and compassionate leave will not accrue on unpaid leave unless it is community service leave.
A team member may take paid personal/carer’s leave:
When paid personal/carer’s leave is taken, the minimum requirement is that a team member must be paid at their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked during the period. A team member’s ‘base rate of pay’ is the rate of pay payable to a team member for his or her ordinary hours of work, but not including any of the following:
A team member (including a casual team member) is entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion when a member of the team member’s immediate family or household requires care or support because of a personal illness, injury, or an unexpected emergency. A team member may take unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion as a single continuous period of up to two days, or any separate periods to which the team member and VSPRY agree. A team member cannot take unpaid carer’s leave during a particular period if the team member could instead take paid personal/carer’s leave (this does not apply to casuals who have no entitlement to paid personal/carer’s leave).
A team member (including a casual team member) is entitled to two days of compassionate leave to spend time with a member of their immediate family or household who has sustained a life-threatening illness or injury. Compassionate leave may also be taken after the death of a member of the team member’s immediate family or household. A team member may take compassionate leave for each occasion as:
If a team member (other than a casual team member) takes a period of compassionate leave, VSPRY will pay the team member at the team member’s base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked during the period. As mentioned above, casual team members are not entitled to any paid personal/carer’s leave or compassionate leave. However, casuals are entitled to unpaid carer’s leave or compassionate leave.
A team member (including a casual team member) is entitled to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year. Team members are entitled to the full five days from the day they start work. They don’t have to build it up over time. The five days renew each 12 months but don't accumulate from year to year if it isn’t used. Team members can take the leave if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it's impractical to do so outside their ordinary hours of work. For example, this could include:
The leave doesn’t need to be taken all at once and can be taken as a single or multiple days. VSPRY and the team member can also agree for the team member to take less than one day at a time, or for the team member to take more than five days.
For all periods of personal/carer’s leave or compassionate leave, a team member must give VSPRY notice of the taking of such leave. The notice must be given to VSPRY as soon as practicable (which may be a time after the leave has started), and must advise VSPRY of the period, or expected period, of the leave. VSPRY is entitled to request evidence that would substantiate the reason for leave. A failure to either provide notice or, if required, evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person to substantiate the reasons for the leave, means the team member is not entitled to the leave. VSPRY can ask a team member for evidence that shows the team member took the leave to deal with family and domestic violence. The evidence has to convince a reasonable person that the team member took the leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence. Types of evidence can include:
VSPRY is sensitive to the need to keep any information about a team member’s situation confidential, when we receive it as part of an application for leave. If information is mishandled, it could have serious adverse consequences for the team member. VSPRY will work with the team member to discuss and agree on how the information will be handled. This includes information about the team member giving notice that they’re taking the leave and any evidence they provide. VSPRY is not prevented from disclosing information if:
VSPRY provides for team members to be absent from work to engage in certain community service activities such as:
A team member engages in a voluntary emergency management activity only if they:
A recognised emergency management body is:
This would include bodies such as the State Emergency Service (SES), Country Fire Authority (CFA) or the RSPCA (in respect of animal rescue).
There is no set limit on the amount of leave a team member is entitled to. They can be absent from their employment:
For a team member to be covered by the community service leave provisions, they must give VSPRY:
Community service leave is unpaid, except for jury duty. Team members (except casuals) are entitled to make-up pay for the first 10 days they are absent for jury duty. Make-up pay is the difference between jury duty pay (excluding expense-related allowances) and the team member’s base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked. If requested by VSPRY, a team member must show:
If the team member is unable to provide this evidence, they won’t be entitled to make-up pay.
The entitlement to long service leave is based on a qualifying period of continuous service with VSPRY. Continuous service refers to paid working time and paid leave. Long service leave entitlements are based on continuous service with VSPRY including instances where:
Team members are entitled to take 8.6667 weeks of paid long service leave after a period of 10 years' continuous service. When a team member has completed their first 10 years' of continuous service, they are entitled to take an additional 4.3333 weeks' paid long service leave once they have completed a further 5 years' continuous service. For continuous service beyond this point, access to further leave accrued is not subject to a qualifying period.
|Period of continuous service||Long service leave entitlement|
|10 years||8.6667 weeks|
|After a further 5 years a further||4.3333 weeks (total of 13 weeks)|
|More than 15 years||long service leave can be accessed as it accrues|
|Less than 10 years||possible pro-rata payment on termination in limited circumstances|
|Less than 7 years||no entitlement|
|Less than 10 years||possible pro-rata payment on termination in limited circumstances|
On termination of employment a team member may be entitled to receive a payment for the balance of any long service leave accrued.
Full-time team members are entitled to take 8.6667 weeks of paid long service leave after a period of 10 years' continuous service. Long service leave is paid at the ordinary rate (i.e. excluding overtime payments) being paid to the team member at the time of taking the leave.
Mixed employment status team members who have had a mixture of employment status (full-time, casual or regular part-time) during their continuous service, have their long service leave entitlement calculated using the total ordinary hours whilst employed as a full-time team member as well as those while employed as a casual or regular part-time team member.
Casual and regular part-time team members have their qualifying period for long service leave entitlement the same as that for full-time team members (i.e. leave is due after 10 years’ continuous service). VSPRY records the total number of ordinary hours worked by each casual and regular part-time team member from the start of the team member’s service worked out to and including 30 June each year. The entitlement to long service leave is calculated as the number of ordinary hours for the complete period of employment divided by 52, multiplied by 8.6667, then divided by 10. The continuous service of a casual team member ceases if the employment is broken by more than 3 months. A casual team member is entitled to be paid at their ‘loaded’ casual hourly rate.
A period of unpaid leave:
Anniversary dates are adjusted by VSPRY to reflect any period of unpaid leave.
Generally, the only absences from work which count as continuous service to determine a long service leave entitlement are periods of paid leave. Periods of absence on WorkCover may also count as continuous service to determine a long service leave entitlement. Long service leave does not accumulate during unpaid parental leave but such leave does not break the continuity of service. The long service leave entitlement is based on a period of continuous service. Continuity of service may be broken by certain absences from work which means time served prior to the absence will not be included when calculating future entitlements. However, a team member’s continuity of service is not broken for the following reasons:
Team members may have an entitlement to receive proportionate payment of long service leave on termination of employment after completing 7 years continuous service with VSPRY. However, team members who have completed 7 but less than 10 years’ continuous service are entitled to pro-rata long service leave only if the primary reason for the termination falls within the following criteria:
The following days are public holidays for the purposes of VSPRY's minimum employment conditions:
If, under the law of a State or Territory, a day or part-day is substituted for any of the above days or part-days, then the substituted day or part-day is the public holiday.
What are reasonable grounds for requesting or refusing to work for VSPRY on a public holiday? In determining whether a request (or a refusal of such a request) to work on a public holiday for VSPRY is reasonable, VSPRY will account for the following:
If a team member is absent from work on a day or part day that is a public holiday, VSPRY must pay the team member (other than a casual team member) the base rate of pay for the team member’s ordinary hours of work on that day or part-day. The base rate of pay to be paid excludes incentive-based payments and bonuses, loading's, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates, or any other separately identifiable amounts. However, a team member is not entitled to payment if they do not have ordinary hours of work on the public holiday.
VSPRY will provide a terminated team member with written notice of the day of termination when ending their employment. Some exceptions apply (see below). VSPRY may give notice to the team member by either:
VSPRY will not terminate a team member unless VSPRY has either:
A team member’s full pay rate includes the following:
|Period of continuous service||Notice period (age <45yrs)||Notice period (age =>45yrs)|
|3 months or less||1 week||2 weeks|
|3 months to 3 years||2 weeks||3 weeks|
|3 years to 5 years||3 weeks||4 weeks|
|More than 5 years||4 weeks||5 weeks|
VSPRY does not need to provide notice of termination (or payment in lieu of notice) to team members who:
Termination due to redundancy occurs when VSPRY either decides they no longer need a team member's job to be done by anyone, and terminates their employment. The job itself, not the team member, becomes redundant. Redundancy can happen when VSPRY:
Affected team members receive redundancy pay based on their continuous period of service with VSPRY. This amount is paid at the team member's base pay rate for ordinary hours worked. A team member's base rate of pay is the pay rate they receive for working their ordinary hours, but does not include the following:
|Period of continuous service||Redundancy pay|
|At least 1 year but less than 2 years||4 week|
|At least 2 years but less than 3 years||6 weeks|
|At least 3 years but less than 4 years||7 weeks|
|At least 4 years but less than 5 years||8 weeks|
|At least 5 years but less than 6 years||10 weeks|
|At least 6 years but less than 7 years||11 weeks|
|At least 7 years but less than 8 years||13 weeks|
|At least 8 years but less than 9 years||14 weeks|
|At least 9 years||16 weeks|
Some team members don't get redundancy pay when their job is made redundant. The following team members don't get redundancy pay:
team members employed for:
VSPRY will provide to every new employee, a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement before (or as soon as practicable after) the team member commences their employment with VSPRY.