|Function||Industrial Relations||Subject||Conditions of Employment|
The Christmas closedown encourages all areas of the government sector not involved in the delivery of front line services to shut down over the Christmas/New Year period. State Owned Corporations are also encouraged to maximise the taking of recreation leave by staff wherever possible.
The Christmas closedown period for 2015-2016 is from Monday 21 December 2015 to Friday 1 January 2016 inclusive.
Employees not involved in the delivery of necessary services should be encouraged to take full advantage of this closedown period and managers should also be encouraged to release employees wherever possible. Frontline services are not to be shut down.
Discretion is available for agency heads to determine the extent of the closedown, including the granting of exemptions. Exemptions should be limited to employees:
with frontline responsibilities;
undertaking time critical work with statutory deadlines that can’t be shifted; or
working on significant Government priorities that need to be completed.
Closedown arrangements will vary between agencies. Decisions as to which areas are appropriate to be closed down, and the extent of that closedown, are to be made on a case by case basis by the agency head. It may, for example, involve all of an agency or sections of an agency being closed down or a partial closedown of a section (i.e. skeleton staffing).
Agencies should also consider utilising temporary assignment provisions to assign employees not on leave to areas where work is continuing during the closedown period.
Agency heads should ensure managers hold discussions with employees prior to the implementation of these arrangements and provide as much notice as possible (at least one month, or on their first day of work if they have been employed for less than a month prior to Christmas).
Subject to operational requirements and the relevant industrial instrument, agencies should direct employees with excessive leave balances onto leave during the closedown period.
Christmas and New Year public holidays for NSW are published by NSW Industrial Relations at http://www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au/oirwww/NSW_public_holidays/NSW_Public_Holidays.page
Departments or Public Service executive agencies or separate Public Service agencies
The following provisions apply to the Public Service only.
Public Service Holiday:
In addition to the public holidays observed in NSW, public service employees who are not entitled to a union picnic day or some other special day (such as the Tuesday after Easter or local holidays) are entitled to a public service holiday. This holiday is to be taken during the period between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and is subject to provisions in industrial arrangements.
The Head of a Public Service agency is to determine the day to be observed as the public service holiday in their agency, in accordance with clause 19.1.3 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 (the Award).
Employees directed to work on the day determined by the Head of a Public Service Agency as the public service holiday are entitled to be absent from duty of one of the other working days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day without loss of pay.
Unless otherwise provided for in industrial arrangements:
Employees directed to work on all of the working days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are entitled to be paid overtime at the “public holiday” rate for work performed on the day determined as the public service holiday for their agency.
Shift workers (as defined in the Award) are to receive the public holiday provisions set out in clause 87 of the Award for the day observed as the public service holiday in their agency.
Part time employees are entitled to be absent on the public service holiday and receive ordinary pay if they would normally have worked on that day. Those who do not normally work on that day are not entitled to compensation.
For employees required to work during the closedown period and subject to industrial instruments, agency operational and staffing requirements, concessional leave will be available to eligible public service employees for the afternoon of Christmas Eve (24 December 2015).
To be eligible for the leave, employees must be required to be on duty on that morning and must work half the standard full time daily hours for the employee’s category of employment.
Eligible employees who are directed to remain on duty for the full day on 24 December are entitled to a half-day’s concessional leave on 31 December 2015.
Provisions for the granting and taking of concessional leave are set out in the Personnel Handbook under Chapter 6-5 Concessional Leave.