Higher duties win
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 2, 9 March 2018, p6
The QTU has had a win for members over the payment of higher duties allowances during annual leave.
Following several enquiries from members acting in higher duties positions immediately prior to the Christmas vacation period, QTU Officers sought clarification from DoE payroll and human resources.
The Office of Industrial Relations made changes to the Higher Duties Directive 18/2016 in relation to the way annual leave is paid for certain employees receiving higher duties payments, which commenced on 10 June 2016. Previously, where a public servant (including teachers) assumed the duties and responsibilities of a higher classification level, they had to perform those duties for a minimum of 12 months before the higher duties allowance was paid on the annual leave component.
The directive was changed to reflect modern awards, which state that annual leave is to be paid at “an amount equal to the salary level being paid to the employee immediately before taking the leave”. There is, therefore, no longer a minimum period required to be worked.
Case study: A member who had been acting as a deputy principal for at least two terms in 2017 and will continue to act in the higher duties position in 2018 was advised by their region that she was not entitled to full (or even pro-rata) higher duties on her annual leave.
The QTU requested that DoE payroll review the QTU member’s case, citing a circular outlining the changes from the Office of Industrial Relations. As a result of this advocacy, the department agreed the person was entitled to 2017/18 summer vacation pay as a deputy principal, and will be processing her back pay.
As these changes to the directive occurred in June 2016, anyone who believes they may not have been paid the appropriate remuneration for an annual leave period since then should contact their regional payroll office in the first instance, and if not successful in having this issue resolved, contact the QTU.