Covid 19 Splinter Award made for 2021 - and you can get vaccinated in worktime

04 Coronavirus COVID 19

In March 2020, as it seemed likely that COVID-19 may get completely out of control, the unions and LGNSW were able to reach agreement on a 12 month Splinter Award providing specific entitlements for the pandemic and some degree of flexibility in dealing with it.

It was a comfort for employees even though employment remained secure. Unfortunately there are no statistics, nor any other data readily available, on whether employees were stood down under the terms of the Award. Certainly we don’t have any members who were.

What it did do was focus the attention of Councils on their mismanagement of leave and their failure to manage the accumulation of excessive annual leave and long service leave. It takes a pandemic to wake management up to the importance of properly managing the annual accumulation of annual and long service leave, and those provisions in the Award which encourage employees to take it.

In February 2021, while things were starting to look more under control in Australia, they were getting worse nearly everywhere else and they continue to get worse in second and third waves. The industry decided that it made sense to have another Splinter Award for 2021 when the 2020 Splinter Award expired on 6 April.

It was agreed that councils would need to “opt in” again to be covered by the Splinter Award 2021 but there were two changes made to the 2020 arrangements for 2021.

First, a new entitlement to leave, without loss of pay, to receive a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved vaccination (clause 12). Yes, you can get you vaccination during working hours.

Second, to be eligible for the Job Retention Allowance, employees must have an accrued annual leave balance of fewer than four weeks (clause 14.10)

The Award was made on 20 April 2021 by Commissioner Murphy to operate from 8 April and by consent of the parties with the initial “opt in” councils in Column A, and from 28 April will have further councils opting in in Column B.

Here is a link to what the Splinter Award will look like operating from 28 April and you can expect that there will be a series of updates as more councils in.

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