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Leave for legal and military service

By CCIWA Editor

As a means of recognising the efforts of employers who release employees for Reserve service, an employer support scheme has been introduced which provides direct financial benefits to most employers of Reservists.

Protection

The Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 (Cth) offers protection to Reserve employees during normal peacetime training periods, protected voluntary full-time service and during call-out. The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against an Employee in any of the following ways:

  • Refusing to employ someone currently or previously a member of the Reserves;
  • Refusing or hindering an employee from taking leave for eligible Reserve service;
  • Dismissing or threatening to dismiss an employee in relation to Reserve service.

Aid employees

Employers are not permitted to hinder employees attending to their Defence Force service obligations and must maintain their continuity of service during this time. Employees are entitled to leave without pay while attending to Defence Force service obligations.

Employers are also prohibited from discrimination against employees simply because they are members of the Reserves.

Employers are not obliged to pay employees’ remuneration or make superannuation payments while an employee is considered to be on leave without pay during a period of Defence Force service.

Employer support payment

In order to receive the Employer Support Payment (ESP), the Reservist employee must complete a total of 5 days of continuous Defence service.

Continuous Defence service is a period of Reserve service that must be five consecutive days or more.

The qualifying period can be taken as single or multiple periods of continuous Defence service provided each period of continuous Defence service is a minimum of five consecutive days.

The employer and Reservist need only meet the qualifying period once in any one financial year.

Ineligibility for payment

Employers are ineligible for the payment of the ESP in the following circumstances:

  • during a call-out of all reserves unless the Minister for Defence determines otherwise;
  • when employees utilise their annual or long service leave entitlements during a period of Defence Force service;
  • for periods of Defence service of less than five days;
  • during the first three months of employment.

Claim for payment

Employees should provide their employers with the relevant sections of the ADF Reserves Employer Support Payment Scheme – Employer’s Claim Form (Form AD138) for completion.

Incorporated with Form AD 138 is an “Employer’s Acknowledgement” requiring the employer to acknowledge its requirements to abide by the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001.

Once this acknowledgement has been signed and returned to the Reservist’s military unit, the process for payment for the ESP will commence.

Financial provisions

Payment is based on the average weekly full-time adult ordinary time earnings rate. Where employers believe the absence of the reservist employee is causing excessive hardship, a decision for additional payment will be at the discretion of the responsible minister.

  • Employer Support Payment Scheme - 1800 803 485

For further information please contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660, email [email protected] or visit CCIWA’s website at www.cciwa.com.

 

As a means of recognising the efforts of employers who release employees for Reserve service, an employer support scheme has been introduced which provides direct financial benefits to most employers of Reservists.

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