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Leave FAQs

Leave Frequently Asked Questions.

Before you contact the AEAWA please see if the below FAQ’s can assist you.


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What documents/legislation covers Long Service leave?

Unfortunately the rules surrounding Long Service Leave are quite complex, as it is governed by a combination of State legislation (the Long Service Leave Act 1958 (WA)), and the specific clauses of our Enterprise Agreement (Clause 33.9 Long Service Leave – General).

An Enterprise Agreement, or EBA, is created under Federal Legislation (The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)).

Recently, as St John have begun to more strictly apply the terms of the EBA, therefore there is now some ambiguity over which document (Federal or State) supersedes the other.

Certain aspects of how LSL operates is different between the State Legislation and our ‘Federal’ EBA, particularly in relation to who gets the final decision as to when Long Service Leave is taken.

When can I take my Long Service Leave?

“Long service leave must be granted and taken as soon as reasonable after it becomes due.”

“Importantly, an employer cannot direct an employee to take long service leave at a particular time.”

“An employee and the employer may agree when the employee will take long service leave.”

“Where an employer and employee have not agreed on when the employee is to take leave, the employer cannot refuse the employee taking long service leave which they became entitled to more than 12 months before. This leave can be taken at any time that is suitable to the employee. The employee must, however, give the employer at least 2 weeks’ notice of taking the leave.”

How does St John apply Long Service Leave in accordance to our Agreement?

“Long service leave shall be taken at a time convenient to St John but not less than 30 days’ notice shall be given to each Employee of the day on which the long service leave is to commence, except in cases where the Employee and St John agree to a lesser period of notice, or in other exceptional circumstances.”

And 33.9 (o)

“Long service leave must be taken within 6 months of becoming due unless agreed otherwise between the Employee and St John.”

Currently, there is considerable conflict between the LSL Act, and our EBA. Historically this has not been a problem, as St John have generally been reasonably flexible with LSL variation. It is only in recent times that many employees are finding the process of using LSL more difficult.

Can I defer my Long Service Leave?

You will be unlikely to simply ‘defer’ your LSL indefinitely. You will likely need to provide some dates to keep St John satisfied. Having overdue LSL is considered a financial liability for the organisation, and so they will prefer to have the dates planned, even if you eventually move them again.

Under 33.9(n) “Long service leave must be taken within 6 months of becoming due unless agreed otherwise between the Employee and St John.”

Even the LSL Act suggests that accrued leave should be ‘granted and taken as soon as reasonable after it becomes due’.

Can I split my Long Service Leave?

You can submit a request to split your LSL. Simply email leave with proposed dates:

Under 33.9(g) “The long service leave prescribed in this clause may, by agreement between St John and the Employee, be taken in more than 1 portion provided that no portion shall be less than 4 consecutive weeks.” More information is available in the EBA under 33.9.

How many Special Leave spots are available?

The number of allotted special leave positions is based on 7% of established vehicles as per clause 33.15 except for gazetted public holidays (Allocated Positions).

This being:
50 x 2/2/4 Day Vehicles (0700/0800-1800/1900)
50 x 2/2/4 Night Vehicles (1800/1900-0700/0800)
34 x 4/4 Day Ambulance Vehicles (0600-2400)

This equates to:
7 special leave positions 2/2/4 day
7 special leave positions 2/2/4 night
4.76 (5) special leave positions 4/4 day [to be a combination of 2-3 positions early and 2-3 positions late (totalling 5)]

Transparency is the challenge here, and the AEAWA will be pushing for ‘real time’ availability of vacancies to be published on the intranet.

I have another question not covered here!

Please contact an AEAWA delegate for more information, or email [email protected]

If you would like to see positive changes for your workplace then be a part of the AEAWA Committee.

Email your interest to the AEAWA