FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) WORK LIFE BALANCE PACKAGE by alendar

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									OFFICE OF THE
COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT    www.nt.gov.au




INITIATIVES IN THE WORK LIFE
     BALANCE PACKAGE

     FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON:

      RECREATION LEAVE AT HALF PAY
      PURCHASED LEAVE
      EXTENDED LEAVE SCHEME




                 May 2009
          OFFICE OF THE
          COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT                                   www.nt.gov.au


          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON RECREATION LEAVE AT HALF PAY


Question 1:   How does recreation leave at half pay work?

Answer:       You may, with CEO approval, utilise one or more weeks of your recreation leave
              at half pay in order to double the period of leave.

                   For example, Jane has 2 weeks recreation leave. She may apply to
                   convert her 2 weeks recreation leave to 4 weeks. She will receive
                   salary and allowances paid at 50% when she takes the 4 weeks
                   recreation leave.

Question 2:   Will recreation leave at half pay affect the accrual of other entitlements?

Answer:       Yes, your leave entitlements will be affected, although this will depend on how
              much recreation leave at half pay you utilise, for example:

                   If Jane utilises 2 weeks recreation leave over a period of 4 weeks at
                   half pay, service based entitlements (e.g.: personal leave, long
                   service leave, paid parental leave) will be deferred by 2 weeks.
                   However, as the second half of the period of leave does not exceed
                   22 days, the entitlement to recreation leave will be unaffected.

                   If Jane utilises 5 weeks recreation leave over a period of 10 weeks
                   at half pay, all service based entitlements other than recreation
                   leave will be deferred by 5 weeks; and the annual entitlement to
                   recreation will be reduced by one twelfth.

                   This is because the second half of the leave period of is considered
                   without pay and does not count as service.

                   Independent advice should be obtained by employees before
                   applying for this entitlement.

Question 3:   Can l utilise recreation leave at half pay whilst under a purchased leave
              arrangement?

Answer:       No. You cannot utilise recreation leave at half pay whilst under a
              purchased leave arrangement.
Question 4:    Can my agency refuse my request to utilise recreation leave at half pay?

Answer:        Yes, your agency may refuse your request to utilise recreation leave at half pay.
               When considering your request, matters that your agency will take into
               consideration include, but are not limited to:
                 •    the operational requirements of the agency and whether they will be
                      affected;
                 •    whether there will be disruption to services to the public; and
                 •    management of staff; whether there will be an increase in the workload
                      and overtime required to be performed by other employees.




Frequently Asked Questions on Recreation Leave at Half Pay                                   1
          OFFICE OF THE
          COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT                                     www.nt.gov.au

               FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON PURCHASED LEAVE


Question 1:   How does purchased leave work?

Answer:       Purchased leave is a scheme which allows you to pay for an additional period of
              leave (up to a maximum of six weeks per year) through regular deductions from
              your fortnightly salary.

              To be eligible you must have completed 12 months continuous service and
              obtain the CEO’s approval. The leave purchased must be used within 6 months
              after you pay for it.

              Purchased leave is different from your recreation leave in that you are in effect
              forsaking a portion of your salary in exchange for a period of additional leave.

Question 2:   How do l apply for purchased leave?

Answer:       The process in applying for purchased leave is as follows:

                1.    ln the first instance you have a discussion with your supervisor about
                      how a purchased leave arrangement may operate in your workplace and
                      the likelihood of approval;
                2.    You then must complete an application form and submit it to your CEO
                      for approval. The application form must include details of the duration of
                      the proposed purchased leave arrangement and the dates on which the
                      purchased leave will be taken.
                3.    The CEO considers the application form and advises you of the
                      outcome. The CEO in making the decision must ensure that:
                      •   fair and reasonable consideration is given to the application;
                      •   the agency’s operational requirements are met and services to the
                          public are not disrupted; and
                      •   arrangements can be put in place to ensure that approval will not
                          result in unreasonable increases in the workload and overtime
                          required to be performed by other employees.
                4.    If your application is approved, you and your CEO will enter into a written
                      agreement setting out the details of the purchased leave arrangement.

                You can access the application form and a template agreement from the DBE
                website.




Frequently Asked Questions on Purchased Leave                                                 2
Question 3:   Can my agency refuse my request to purchased leave?

Answer:       Yes, your agency may refuse your request to utilise purchased leave. When
              considering your request, matters that your agency will take into consideration
              include, but are not limited to:
               •     the operational requirements of the agency and whether they will be
                     affected;
               •     whether there will be disruption to services to the public; and
               •     management of staff; whether there will be an increase in the workload
                     and overtime required to be performed by other employees.

Question 4:   How will a purchased leave            arrangement     affect   my    employer
              superannuation contribution?

Answer:       During a purchased leave arrangement, compulsory employer superannuation
              contributions are calculated on the salary that you are paid:
                •    prior to purchased leave deductions being made in the case of
                     NTGPASS and CSS employees; and
                •    after purchased leave deductions being made in the case of Choice of
                     Fund employees, eg AGEST.

Question 5:    What advice do l need to obtain prior to entering into a purchased leave
              agreement?

Answer:       Before you enter into a purchased leave arrangement you should obtain, at your
              own expense, independent advice regarding:
              • your financial situation;
              • potential impact on taxation; and
              • potential impact on superannuation.

Question 6:    Am l required to use all my available recreation leave entitlements before
              taking the purchased leave?

Answer:       Yes. You must utilise all your available accrued recreation leave entitlements
              before you take the purchased leave.

Question 7: How will my salary be affected if l enter into a purchased leave
            arrangement?
Answer:       You will make payments from your gross fortnightly salary over a 12 month
              period to pay for the period of purchased leave you wish to take.
                   For example, Fred earns an annual gross salary of $47,006 or
                   $1802.15 per fortnight. He purchases an additional 4 weeks leave
                   which equates to two fortnightly pays (i.e. $3604.30).
                   Fred’s fortnightly deductions over a 12 month period (26 pays)
                   would be:
                   $138.80 for the first deduction; and
                   $138.62 for the remaining 25 deductions.
     (Note: DBE payroll is responsible for calculating actual deductions associated with an
     application for purchased leave).

Frequently Asked Questions on Purchased Leave                                             3
Question 8:   What happens in the event that my salary increases during the purchased
              leave arrangement?

Answer:       If your salary increases during the purchased leave arrangement your fortnightly
              deductions will be increased.

Question 9: What rate of pay will l be entitled to receive while utilising purchased leave?

Answer:       You will be paid your gross fortnightly salary, excluding any allowances that you
              might otherwise receive.

Question 10: Can l take the purchased leave in portions, rather than all at once?

Answer:       Yes. The purchased leave does not have to be taken all at once. The purchased
              leave can be taken in minimum periods of one week. The total amount of
              purchased leave must be utilised within 6 months after payment is completed.

Question 11: How will purchased leave affect the accrual of other entitlements?

Answer:       A purchased leave arrangement will not affect the accrual of any other leave
              entitlements.

Question 12: How can a purchased leave arrangement cease?

Answer:       A purchased leave arrangement may cease in any one of the following ways:
                •     at your request on the giving of 4 weeks written notice to the CEO,
                      provided that approval of the request is at the discretion of the CEO,
                      based on operational and other relevant considerations;
                •     at the initiative of the CEO, on the giving of 3 months written notice to
                      you, along with reasons for the cessation;
                •     you cease employment with the NTPS; or
                •     you move to a new work area within the Agency, or to another Agency
                      (unless the new work area or Agency agrees to continue the
                      arrangement).
              In the event that a purchased leave arrangement ceases you will be reimbursed
              a lump sum payment of monies paid.

Question 13: What happens in the event l do not use the purchased leave within the
             agreed period?

Answer:       If you do not use the purchased leave within the period agreed and the leave is
              not deferred, it will lapse and you will be reimbursed monies paid.

Question 14: Can l renew a purchased leave arrangement?

Answer:       No, a purchased leave agreement is non-renewable. On the expiration of an
              existing agreement you may lodge a new application for consideration by your
              CEO.




Frequently Asked Questions on Purchased Leave                                               4
           OFFICE OF THE
           COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT                                     www.nt.gov.au

          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON EXTENDED LEAVE SCHEME

Question 1:   How does the Extended Leave Scheme Work?

Answer:       The extended leave scheme is an arrangement where you receive 80% of your
              salary for 4 years and at the completion of the 4th year you are entitled to take 1
              year’s paid leave. The salary paid to you during the 5th year will be the amount
              of withheld salary accumulated over the 4 year period.

Question 2:   How do l apply for the extended leave scheme?

Answer:       The process in applying for extended leave scheme is as follows:

                1.   In the first instance you have a discussion with your supervisor about
                     how an extended leave arrangement may operate in your workplace and
                     the likelihood of approval;
                2.   You then must complete an application form and submit the form to your
                     CEO for approval. The application form must include details of your
                     workplace, the duration of the proposed extended leave arrangement
                     and the dates you intend to take the leave;
                3.   The CEO considers the application form and advises you of the
                     outcome. The CEO in making the decision must ensure that:
                     •   fair and reasonable consideration is given to the application;
                     •   the agency’s operational requirements are met and services to the
                         public are not disrupted; and
                     •   arrangements can be put in place to ensure that approval will not
                         result in unreasonable increases in the workload and overtime
                         required to be performed by other employees.
                4.   If application is approved, you and your CEO will sign a written
                     agreement.

                Application forms can be accessed from the DBE website.

Question 3:   Can my agency refuse my request to enter into an extended leave
              arrangement?

Answer:       Yes, your agency may refuse your request to utilise an extended leave
              arrangement. When considering your request, matters that your agency will take
              into consideration include, but are not limited to:
                •    the operational requirements of the agency and whether they will be
                     affected;
                •    whether there will be disruption to services to the public; and
                •    management of staff; whether there will be an increase in the workload
                     and overtime required to be performed by other employees.


Frequently Asked Questions on Extended Leave Scheme                                          5
Question 4:   How will an extended leave arrangement affect my accrual of leave
              entitlements?

Answer:       The period of 12 month paid leave counts as service for all purposes of accruing
              entitlements, including recreation leave and long service leave.

Question 5:   Can an extended leave arrangement be ceased?

Answer:       Yes, you may cease an extended leave arrangement by giving 3 months written
              notice to the CEO and the CEO approves the cessation. A CEO may cease an
              extended leave arrangement on giving you 3 months written notice.
              You will be reimbursed all monies paid by you.

Question 6:   How are superannuation contributions affected during an extended leave
              arrangement?

Answer:       If you are an employee under a Choice of Fund superannuation arrangement,
              eg AGEST, your employer superannuation contribution is based on your
              reduced salary during the arrangement.

              If you are an NTGPASS or CSS member your salary for super purposes will not
              be reduced during the arrangement. Your employee contributions and the
              calculation of any employer financed benefit will continue to be based on your
              nominal salary.

              (Note: These differences are because of the different rules applying to the
              respective schemes)

              Prior to entering into an extended leave arrangement you will be advised to seek
              at your own expense, independent advice including superannuation and any
              potential impact it may have should you enter into an extended leave
              arrangement.

Question 7:   Should l obtain financial advice prior to entering into an extended leave
              arrangement?

Answer:       Yes, before you enter into an extended leave arrangement you will be advised to
              obtain at your own expense, independent advice regarding:
                •    your financial situation;
                •    potential impact on taxation; and
                •    potential impact on superannuation.

Question 8: What is the effect of me receiving Higher Duties Allowance (HDA) during
            the first 4 years of the arrangement?

Answer:       Deductions for extended leave will be increased in accordance with salary
              increases (including HDA) applying during the period of the agreement.



Frequently Asked Questions on Extended Leave Scheme                                        6
Question 9:   Can l undertake outside paid employment during the paid leave year of the
              scheme?

Answer:       Yes, if your CEO approves outside employment.

Question 10: How do l find out how much money has been withheld during the first 4
             years of the extended leave arrangement?

Answer:       DBE payroll will be able to advise you on the amount of money accumulated
              during the extended leave arrangement.




Frequently Asked Questions on Extended Leave Scheme                                 7

								
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