Annual Leave Reduction in Telstra – Yet Another Clarification

There appears to be further pressure on Telstra staff, of accumulating Annual Leave credits as we approach this coming September that contradict the Enterprise Agreement. Various Telstra areas have applied different sorts of pressure on staff, ranging from requesting to outright bullying and threats to ensure staff put in Annual Leave applications , not necessarily at their time of choosing. There are only 2 circumstances where a lawful direction can be given:

  • If there is a shutdown – and the argument about what is the definition of a shutdown has been had almost yearly since this clause was implemented a number of EAs ago. The intent of the shutdown clause was to ensure the network was not placed at risk during the “embargo” period where planned network upgrades were forbidden. This was usually at Christmas/New year. Ultimately, the shutdown means that the place is shut down, no one is at work, and the doors are closed.
  • If you have excessive leave credits – again to be clear, the current EBA stipulates that you can build a bank of Annual Leave that is up to 6 weeks of credits, and 7 if you are a shift worker and only if it is “REASONABLE” in the circumstances, you MAY (not will) be legally directed to reduce this. However, you may only be directed to reduce this  down to  4 weeks leave credits (or 5 if you are a shift worker)

So if the Management “request” you reduce your Annual Leave credits, you can politely refuse that request, if it doesn’t suit you at the time. You may request a period that suits you, after all, it is your entitlement, and it requires you to initiate the request, subject only to the Manager approving it. It is not the other way around,

Contact the Branch if you have any queries about this, or if you have been bullied, harassed or threatened in relation to this matter.


Industrial Officer

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