Employers are being warned to prepare for employee absences and business disruptions during tomorrow’s national childcare strike that will be the biggest educator walk-off Australia has ever seen.
Senior Employment Adviser, Andrew Spiteri, from workplace relations specialists Employsure said, “If a parent is unable to attend work due to the childcare strike then the employer needs to check the National Employment Standards (NES) entitlements.
“As a general rule, an employee with personal leave entitlements is entitled to take the day off with pay to care for their child, however, an employer can request a statutory declaration from their employees stating the childcare centre their children attends was impacted by the industrial action and that the employee has to care for their child.”
To minimise the impact on operations, Spiteri explains that employers may consider alternative action, and offer employees options such as:
- substituting time to be worked on another day
- allowing employees to work from home where possible or from an alternate place of work, if available
- allowing parents to bring their child to work.
Spiteri recommends employers address attendance issues in advance.
“It’s important employers take the time to learn which employees with children (if any) will be impacted by circumstances such as strikes and consider alternative measures in advance.
“Employers should take this opportunity to consider and decide on their own internal policy for dealing with employees who are unable to attend work or arrive on time due to unusual circumstances outside the control of the employee or employer.”
Spiteri also stresses the importance of employers communicating this policy to all employees to ensure the position is clear going forward
“Every business is different, therefore there is no one-size-fits-all policy or procedure which suits every workplace.
“For further information on how Keep Your Children at Home Day could potentially affect businesses, seek specialist advice, and speak with all your staff as soon as possible.
“It’s important to take the time to learn which employees with children may be impacted and unable to attend work tomorrow, so that together you can work out alternative arrangements that benefit both of you,” Spiteri concluded.