What’s your Council doing about the Award’s health and well-being provision?

Clause 24 Health and Wellbeing is a new provision that apart from providing encouragement to councils to develop workplace health and/or wellbeing programs, allows councils to agree to provide up to 2 days paid leave each calendar year from employees’ accrued sick leave to participate in a health and/or well-being activity.

This is subject to some considerations but the critical issue is that there is a discretion for each Council to opt in, or opt out of the option, to provide the additional leave.

What’s your Council doing? This was one of our claims and we would like to keep a record of which Council is providing this as an option as part of its commitment to looking after the health and well-being of its staff - and those councils deciding to do otherwise.

We’ve already seen one draft policy from Penrith (Penrith just can’t seem to do the right thing at all these days) which proposes to restrict the provision to “medical appointments or medical treatments/screenings by medical/health practitioner”. This frustrates the intention of the clause and directs it away from fitness, healthy lifestyle activities, general exercise programs and their establishment with a trainer or in a gym and a whole range of other activities that will contribute to the well-being of an employee.

Penrith won’t be the only Council trying this on (let’s hope the employee representatives on the Consultative Committee rejects this) and we would like to know who and which Council is trying to frustrate the intention of this clause. Is it just indolent or lazy HR people or others higher up?

Please let us know. Would also like to know those councils which are embracing it and trying to do the right thing by their staff. It’s not all about bad news.

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