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Qantas Taken To Court.

Old 28th Apr 2020, 07:27
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Qantas Taken To Court.

Qantas is apparently being taken to court by unions over its refusal to pay sick leave entitlements while staff are stood down. I would have thought the unions have a case. I am assuming we are talking here about illness that was contracted before the stand down.

I can see the attraction here. Qantas would have a huge provision in its accounts for accumulated sick leave. If redundancy is required, the accountants can rebalance accumulated sick leave which may offset a chunk of the redundancy costs. Then of course there is the cash cost of sick leave. It almost sounds to me that if you are going to do a headcount reduction, then pick the people with large accumulated sick leave balances because reduction in the provision will partially offset redundancy payments.

Shame about the cancer and heart disease patients, but can’t be helped under modern, efficient management methods.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-...leave/12193662
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 07:31
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Their grubby PR dept will be working overtime now to make QF look and smell good in the publics eyes!
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 09:15
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I was wondering about this a few weeks back...

Originally Posted by KRviator
Qantas has told some 20,000 employees that they will not be eligible for paid sick leave — leaving staff who may have been exposed to coronavirus in financial peril.
According to Qantas' own FAQ:
Originally Posted by Qantas
Sick/carer's leave will not apply during any period of stand down, so you will continue to be stood down and will not be entitled to any sick/carer's leave payments.
But a Qantas spokesman said it wasn't possible for employees to take sick leave from work when there was no work. "Employees can access their annual leave and have early access to future annual leave and long-service leave if they have leave accrued," he said.
Am I missing something? You can't take Sick leave, to be absent from work, as there is no work. But you are allowed to take Annual leave to absent yourself from work, even when there is no work.
I hope the union wins this one. There's no logic to the Qantas argument that you can use AL/LSL but not SL.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 09:20
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Qantas will argue that annual leave isn't required to be available during a stand down. They are only "allowing" us to take it. Next thing you know they will take it away.

They have drawn the line in the sand to stop every man and his dog become "sick" while stood down. Fair enough too. But anyone who was long term sick leave before COVID19, should be entitled to stay on it.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 10:15
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I know it's pretty rare to have reason to praise Qantas HR, especially after the LH vote, but they're doing better by us than a lot of other companies. I've got two mates in other industries who are stood down without pay at all (no leave, since there's no work). And they both work for companies that still have a fair chunk of their business ticking over - just not the areas my mates are working in.

The fact that we can use annual leave, rather than going straight down to $1500, is a massive help for me and my family.

I reckon it's be the right thing to do, to let people on long term sick leave to keep claiming that. But, I'm not outraged at the idea that I can't sick leave if I get a cold or stub my toe, right now.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 10:22
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Originally Posted by KRviator View Post
I was wondering about this a few weeks back...



I hope the union wins this one. There's no logic to the Qantas argument that you can use AL/LSL but not SL.
There should be. Sick leave is for when you're sick. It is available if you genuinely need it because you are sick. If you don't get sick you don't get sick leave. Aussie work conditions are far too kind.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 11:12
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Originally Posted by normanton View Post
Qantas will argue that annual leave isn't required to be available during a stand down. They are only "allowing" us to take it. Next thing you know they will take it away.

They have drawn the line in the sand to stop every man and his dog become "sick" while stood down. Fair enough too. But anyone who was long term sick leave before COVID19, should be entitled to stay on it.

How can they argue that?

Fairwork Act Section 525 Quote

Note: An employee may take paid or unpaid leave (for example, annual leave) during all or part of a period during which the employee would otherwise be stood down under subsection 524(1).”
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 22:00
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Originally Posted by KRviator View Post
I was wondering about this a few weeks back...



I hope the union wins this one. There's no logic to the Qantas argument that you can use AL/LSL but not SL.
Why would there ever be logic involved in their decisions.
It is the world according to QF,very easy to tell everyone they care but when push comes to shove,words mean nothing.
I really dont know how these decision makers sleep at night,they dont care about anyone except themselves.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 22:28
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Apart from the emotion of this being cancer treatment, I’m wondering if the TWU really have a case here?

Let’s take a far less emotional example. Let’s say back in February a pilot needed a knee or shoulder reconstruction. It’s going to be 9-10 weeks sick leave. Surgery done and on sick leave that is due to expire mid April. Stand down notices due lack of work take effect from the beginning of April. Does that pilot get the extra two weeks sick leave whilst all their colleagues are stood down due to lack of work? What if one had an URTI that happened the day before the stand down commences? Should that pilot get an extra week of sick leave before commencing stand down?

I can see the company’s point here. Sick leave is when you can’t be at work. If there’s no work then you’re stood down. In the pilot’s LHEA it says that whilst stood down the pilot may ‘elect to take accrued annual leave entitlements’. That’s not quite the same as being on annual leave with all the things that flow from that.

And perhaps too the company has drawn a hard line on this because they know how many people have rorted the sick leave entitlements over the years. Clearly this cancer patient isn’t but if they make the exception for them, expect someone else to be onto the precedent and taking it for whatever ill it is that they decide they can burn 6 months sick leave for.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 22:41
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Originally Posted by AmarokGTI View Post
How can they argue that?

Fairwork Act Section 525 Quote

Note: An employee may take paid or unpaid leave (for example, annual leave) during all or part of a period during which the employee would otherwise be stood down under subsection 524(1).”
Hmm ok looks like I got that wrong.

I vaguely remember them saying in a webinar that there is no requirement for them to offer annual leave during stand down. But the Act and LH EBA says we can.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 22:54
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Originally Posted by normanton View Post
Hmm ok looks like I got that wrong.

I vaguely remember them saying in a webinar that there is no requirement for them to offer annual leave during stand down. But the Act and LH EBA says we can.
No, you were right.

Section 525 doesn't apply to mainline pilots because they aren't stood down in accordance with section 524(1). Have a look at section 524(2) to see why.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:19
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But the LH EBA states "the pilot may elect to take any accrued annual leave entitlements during the stand down period". 15.6.9

?
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:22
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Originally Posted by normanton View Post
But the LH EBA states "the pilot may elect to take any accrued annual leave entitlements during the stand down period". 15.6.9

?
Correct. But isn't this thread about personal leave?
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:28
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I was correcting what I said earlier....

Qantas will argue that annual leave isn't required to be available during a stand down. They are only "allowing" us to take it. Next thing you know they will take it away.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:32
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Originally Posted by normanton View Post
But the LH EBA states "the pilot may elect to take any accrued annual leave entitlements during the stand down period". 15.6.9

?
Correct. It specifically states annual leave and makes no reference to Long Service Leave. I think you might be mixed up with that they don’t need to offer us LSL and this was stated in the webinars. That aside, LSL is still a liability that they would like to remove from the balance sheet, so offering us LSL is a win/win.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:43
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Originally Posted by angryrat View Post
Correct. It specifically states annual leave and makes no reference to Long Service Leave. I think you might be mixed up with that they don’t need to offer us LSL and this was stated in the webinars. That aside, LSL is still a liability that they would like to remove from the balance sheet, so offering us LSL is a win/win.
Ah right got it.

If they want to save cash, it would be in their best interest to deny it though.
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Old 29th Apr 2020, 00:45
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The historical and continuing rorting of sick leave and loss of license is absolutely a part of Qantas taking this position.

- Some notable over 65.

- Elective surgery and medical leave arranged over holidays.

- Long term opportunistic malingering.

Those in genuine need, sadly now penalised. If TWU win this, will be interesting to see if the honest majority lose out. Someone will have to pay for the rorts.



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Old 29th Apr 2020, 01:07
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Interesting that AIPA isn't involved.
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Old 29th Apr 2020, 01:30
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Let’s take a far less emotional example. Let’s say back in February a pilot needed a knee or shoulder reconstruction. It’s going to be 9-10 weeks sick leave. Surgery done and on sick leave that is due to expire mid April. Stand down notices due lack of work take effect from the beginning of April. Does that pilot get the extra two weeks sick leave whilst all their colleagues are stood down due to lack of work? What if one had an URTI that happened the day before the stand down commences? Should that pilot get an extra week of sick leave before commencing stand down?

I can see the company’s point here. Sick leave is when you can’t be at work. If there’s no work then you’re stood down. In the pilot’s LHEA it says that whilst stood down the pilot may ‘elect to take accrued annual leave entitlements’. That’s not quite the same as being on annual leave with all the things that flow from that.

And perhaps too the company has drawn a hard line on this because they know how many people have rorted the sick leave entitlements over the years. Clearly this cancer patient isn’t but if they make the exception for them, expect someone else to be onto the precedent and taking it for whatever ill it is that they decide they can burn 6 months sick leave for.
Problem with your argument is that you can take annual leave and then replace it with sick leave if you get sick. So the fact that you don't have any work on is irrelevant.
It's just that lowering the annual leave balance has a benefit to the company while sick leave does not, which I would suggest is why QF are doing it.
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Old 29th Apr 2020, 02:46
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Originally Posted by Iron Bar View Post
The historical and continuing rorting of sick leave and loss of license is absolutely a part of Qantas taking this position.

- Some notable over 65.

- Elective surgery and medical leave arranged over holidays.

- Long term opportunistic malingering.

Those in genuine need, sadly now penalised. If TWU win this, will be interesting to see if the honest majority lose out. Someone will have to pay for the rorts.
You wouldn’t of course be referring to the over 65 who was sent to a company specialist who said to him how have you kept flying with this for so long plus the fact that his DAME wouldn’t sign off his renewal. Can’t let the facts get in the way of a good story can we.
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