Telstra EBA Clause 30 Annual Leave. What Can They Force You To Do?

Telstra EBA – Know Your Rights
Clause 30 – Annual Leave. What Can They Force You To Do?

As is now becoming the norm at this time of the year, many calls into this office indicate a total lack of understanding by Telstra local management of the clauses in the EBA, particularly relating to the “Taking of Annual Leave” , and particularly the ability to “direct staff onto Annual Leave.To be clear, there are only 2 circumstances that the EBA allows a direction to occur, and for either circumstance, the direction must be REASONABLE.Clause 30.2 (b) indicates that Telstra may direct you to take leave if it’s reasonable to do so, but only when –


i)     – If Telstra is shutting down all or part of the business for a period such as over Christmas or New Year ;

ii)     –  if you have accrued more than 6 weeks (7 if you are a shift worker) and that you must be left with less than 4 week of accrued annual leave (5 if you are a shift worker)

Note: “Shutting down all or part of the business” – has been the discussion over many years of EBA negotiations and representations – shutting down means shutting down – ie no staff at all and the doors are closed. It clearly is not skeleton staffing, reduced staffing, or any other method of staffing that relies on people being on call, etc. This EBA clause had its genesis in the days where numbers of NDC staff had no work due to the Christmas embargo that was placed on any changes to the network during the Christmas /New Year break so as not to put the Telstra Network at risk of induced outages. These days, the shutdown requirement has markedly reduced.  What appears to be happening is bean counting pressure on Manager KPI’s to reduce annual leave accrual amounts.

If it isn’t suitable to take your leave at this time (and for some staff this is clearly the case), you don’t have to unless either of the 2 situations outlined above apply.

In addition, clause 30.2 (a) indicates that you must agree with your manager when you will take Annual Leave. The normal process of trying to take leave is for you to initiate an application for leave. There is an ability for the management to deny the application, but the manager must act reasonably in doing so – having regard to Telstra’s business requirements. As we all know, there is a clear lack of staff resources to cover leave at the moment, so if you are knocked back, contact the Union for advice on the matter.

If there are any circumstances where you believe you have been subject to a direction that is not in accordance with the EBA, please contact the Branch Office.

SUE RILEY, Secretary, CWU (T&S) Vic | m 0439 762 455 | e
JOHN ELLERY, Assistant Sec., CWU (T&S) Vic | m 0419 823 580 | e
Communication Workers’ Union is the Communications Division of the CEPU
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