Letter to Telstra from Unions on long service leave proposed changes

Mr. Darren Fewster

Executive Director, HR Shared Services Telstra

By  email: darren.fewster@team.telstra.com
3rd  May 2018
Dear Mr. Fewster,

Re: Unions‘ response to Telstras initial Decision to Introduce Major Change – Telstras Long Service Leave Policy

Your reference201808

As the collective major Unions representing your workforce we write to advise our position about your proposed changes to Telstra’s Long Service Leave Policy.

Telstra notified our organisations of the proposal on 23 April 2018. The proposal was later the subject of a teleconference between senior representatives of our organisations and senior Telstra representatives on 1 May 2018.

We note that the essence of the proposal is to provide Telstra with an unfettered right to deem employees to be on Long Service Leave.

Following deep and lengthy consult at ion with our members, we consider your proposal to be detrimental to their interests.

Further, Telstra employees’ Long Service Leave  entit lements  arise from Federal Legislation, the Long Service Leave {Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976. 

This Act does not provide the ability, nor the authority, for an employer to ‘deem’ their employees to be on Long Service Leave, under any circumstances. Therefore, it is our strongly held view that your proposal must not proceed.

Given the detrimental effect to our members’ interests and the absence of any legislative ability or authority, we require Telstra to withdraw their proposed changes to the Telstra Long Service Leave   policy and confirm this withdrawal to us in writing.

Should you hold an opposing view as to your ability and authority under relevant legislation, please provide confirmation of this, and detail of the legal basis on which you rely on, in writing and as soon as practicable.