Student Free Days for P&C Employees

What is a student free day?

Student Free days, also known as pupil free days, are school term days on which students are not required to attend school.

Which P&C employees usually work term-time?

Employees who may be employed on a term-time basis are employed under either the Retail Operations, Clerical and Administrative or Operations Managers stream of the Parents and Citizens Associations Award – State 2016 (“Award”).  While the Award does have provisions for Outside School Hours Care and Vacation Care stream employees to work term-time it is very uncommon.

How does a student free day affect P&C term-time employees?

Clause 15.2 Term time employment (g) of the award states, “Pupil free days occurring during term-time are considered ordinary working days.”  What this means for term-time employees is that they are expected to present for work on student free days unless otherwise directed by their employer or otherwise agreed at the time of engagement and is written into their letter of appointment..

In recent years there have only been one or two pupil free days per year.

The next student free day for 2020 is Friday, 4 September.

Concerns

Student free days are professional development days for teachers in schools. This professional development may be undertaken at the school or at another location.  Where the arrangement is to do the professional development off site it will mean that there will be no other persons at the school grounds on those days.   CMSolutions believes that, from a Work Health and Safety perspective, it is a safety risk to have one (1) or two (2) persons, particularly women, working in isolation on school grounds during that time.

Options

  • Should the P&C not require their employees to work on the student free day, permanent employees will be entitled to be paid for the student free day should it fall on a day that the employee would ordinarily be employed to work and casual employees would be unpaid.
  • In the event that the employee does not want to work or is unable to work on the student free day due to caring responsibilities for children not attending school, they will be unpaid for that day.
  • Those employees who would be unpaid for the student free day would be able to use any TOIL which has been accrued to put towards payment for the student free day.

Whatever arrangements are put in place, CMSolutions strongly recommends that you document what has been agreed in writing, with both parties signing and dating this agreement i.e. application to take accrued TOIL.

Incoming committees

Out of courtesy the outgoing committee should advise the incoming committee of any standing arrangements made with existing staff.

CMSolutions is the go-to source of advice for P&C Associations around Queensland.
Working with volunteer committees, we understand the challenges of operating a community-based business, including employing and managing staff. We have been providing up to the minute advice and support to for almost 50 years, guiding Community Organisations and Not-for-profits through all issues related to Employment Relations, helping volunteer committees build thriving, successful school communities.

Our wealth of knowledge and our stellar staff know how to cut through the jargon and provide you with the information relevant to you, in a way you understand.

If you need further assistance, or would like to inquire about membership, do not hesitate to contact CMSolutions on 1300 007 110, 07 3852 5177, or by emailing info@cmsolutions.org.au.

Leave a comment