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phila259

Employment contract query - personal leave entitlement

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Hi there

 

I'm in the process of having my contract here in Australia made permanent and am debating the issue of my personal leave entitlement. I was seconded to Australia 6 years ago but have worked for the same company for almost 20 years. I am being told by my employer that due to due to local Australian law, my 13 years employment in the UK counts for nothing and my entitlement is only based on my 6 years employment here in Australia.

 

Firstly, is this correct and secondly, even if this is what Australian law dictates, surely a separate clause can be added to my contract at the discretion of my employer allowing me additional personal leave due to my time served in the UK??

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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Ask them to explain the law they are referring to and how they are interpreting it. Try to keep it as a calm conversation of an "inquiring" nature for best results

 

Your concern is legitimate, because you will have built up a sick leave allowance under your original contract of employment. It would be worth looking at this to say what happens in the case of secondment or transfer (it may not be covered). It sounds as though your original contract is being terminated and you are engaging in a new one. Ask if this is the case, and what else may be affected if this is seen as a break in continuing employment.

 

It would be unusual for a company to go to the barricades over something like personal leave IMO, because most people don't take it all, and if they want you to sign a new contract and value you, they may be prepared to make some concessions. I wouldn't be demanding about it though, try and ask the questions first.

 

Personal leave here IS different to sick leave in the UK, as it covers sick and incidental time off (for breakdowns/childcare crises/doctors appointments and the like that in the UK you'd usually be taking annual leave for). So that maybe where it comes from?

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The issue you have is that there is no where to challenge what you may perceive as unforeseen changes to your contact. You've left one country to work in a whole new one, so your contract has to reflect the rights of the new country. You can complain to your "new" employer but if they don't agree you can't take it to the UK tribunals as you no longer live and work there and you can't take it to Fairwork as the employer is following their advice and giving you you're Australian work rights. Only your Australian work history counts in Employment Law terms here in Australia.

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Most companies in the UK don't really have you accruing leave in the same way you do here, so for annual leave you get so many days a year and if you don't use them you loose them. What you get for sick leave in the UK will depend a lot on your contract with your employer, but again generally there is no accruing of sick leave in the UK like there is here. There is also generally no long service leave in the UK.

 

So, even given that you have been working for the same company for 20 years any time spent in the UK wouldn't have any leave to carry forward any way so you only really started accruing leave once you started working here.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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thats what happened with me - i transferred with the company, and in reality i transferred from one payroll to another. It was treated internally as a new contract though, and although they recognized my continuous service in terms of time at the company, it didnt translate to any accrued benefits.


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