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Entitlement Update for Qantas Workers

March 28, 2020

The Qantas Engineers Alliance Unions have been seeking clarity from Qantas on questions of entitlements during stand downs since they were first announced a week and a half ago.

Throughout this process, Qantas has shown a lack of respect and compassion to its workforce, and we are frustrated to report this continues to be the case.

Below is our advice as of the 28th of March for members who need to lodge their leave applications for the stand down period. This advice is subject to change as the Alliance Unions fight for improved entitlements, and we will keep you updated.

Sick Leave

Qantas has rejected the request of the Alliance Unions to amend the advice provided on the Q&A with respect to sick leave.

At this stage, workers who are on stand down will NOT be able to access their sick leave entitlements.

The Alliance Unions are taking legal advice on next steps in this matter. It is our firm belief that if a worker is sick during the stand down period, they should be able to claim their sick leave as is standard practice on annual leave or long service leave.

Public Holidays

A number of public holidays fall in the first stand down period. Our advice to members on this is as follows:

  • If you do day work (i.e. – Monday to Friday), you do not need to apply for annual leave to cover the public holidays that fall in the stand down period
  • If you are a shift worker and the public holidays fall in a period during which you were rostered on, you will need to apply for annual leave in order to obtain your shift loading
  • If you are a shift worker and the public holidays fall in a period during which you were NOT rostered on, you do not need to apply for annual leave in order to cover the public holidays

Long Service Leave

At this stage, Qantas is refusing to allow workers to take shorter blocks of long service leave (single days or 4/5 day blocks). The policy as outlined in the Q&A distributed by Qantas currently applies.

The Alliance Unions believe that members should be able to take shorter blocks, and changes to the Long Service Leave Act in NSW are supportive of this position. The Unions are currently seeking legal advice on next steps and will continue to pursue members’ right to take long service leave in shorter blocks.

In light of possible changes in coming weeks, the Alliance Unions recommend that where possible, members give consideration to taking other forms of leave before taking long service leave as we seek a better outcome for members in this matter.

The Alliance Unions will continue to fight Qantas for fair policies on entitlements during the stand downs.

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