Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check my pay rate?

Employees should refer to their Agreement or Award for their specified rate of pay, and a copy of this document must be accessible in the workplace. Workers have the right to request a copy from their employer or seek assistance from their workplace union delegate or contact the Union directly.

The Fair Work Commission provides a pay rates calculator to determine the minimum pay rate – Click here

If not covered by an Award or Agreement, the national minimum wage is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per 38-hour week (pre-tax). Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also receive a 25% casual loading.

I feel like I am being bullied at work. What do I do?

Workplace bullying, defined as repeated unfavorable treatment causing intimidation, offense, degradation, or humiliation, is prohibited by Occupational Health and Safety laws.

Reporting is encouraged, and the initial contact for such issues should be the workplace OHS representative.

Options for addressing workplace bullying include seeking assistance from the Fair Work Commission, Work Safe, and the Union. HWU members can also turn to Maurice Blackburn Injury lawyers for help with WorkCover claims if bullying affects workplace attendance during investigations.

It is crucial not to stay silent; support from workplace delegates, Union organisers, and General Practitioners is recommended. Recognising symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nausea, and musculoskeletal issues, the Fair Work Commission acknowledges the serious impact of workplace bullying, and the Union provides valuable advice on addressing and resolving such issues.

When do I qualify for long service leave?

This is dependant on your workplace and whether you are covered by an Award, Enterprise Agreement or the NES (National Employee Standard).

Do I need to have a medical certificate when I take sick leave?

When taking sick leave, it is advisable to acquire a medical certificate from your General Practitioner (GP). While certain Enterprise Agreements may allow a limited number of sick leave days without a medical certificate, obtaining one is strongly recommended.

Some workers can use Statutory Declarations (SD) instead, but these must be signed and witnessed by authorized individuals to be valid.

The Medical Certificate or Statutory Declaration does not need to specify the exact illness; a general description such as “Suffering from Medical Condition” or “Viral infection” is sufficient.

My manager has changed my roster to shifts that I cannot work. What do I do?

When evaluating your roster, it’s important to consider your personal circumstances. If the provided roster doesn’t align with your needs, contact your workplace delegate or immediate supervisor promptly.

If an agreement can’t be reached with your employer, there may be an option to address the matter through the Fair Work Commission.

My employer has reduced my hours without notice. Can they do that?

No. Notice must be provided and your minimum contracted hours must be met.

I want to resign. How much notice do I need to give?

In general, a notice period of four weeks is typically required when resigning from a job. It’s advised to review your workplace agreement or employment contract to confirm the specific notice period applicable to your situation.

I work in the public sector. How do I transfer my long service leave to a different workplace?

In the Public Sector, long service leave can be carried over if reemployed within the Public Sector. Continuous unbroken employment is generally required for long service leave, but approved breaks such as parental leave (up to 52 weeks), illness or injury (including WorkCover absence), and annual leave do not disrupt continuous employment.

Other forms of paid or unpaid leave, such as study leave, also do not affect long service leave qualifying conditions.

Why is my EBA expired? When will a new one be signed?

If your Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) has expired, you remain employed under the same terms and conditions until a new EBA is negotiated and agreed upon.

The Health Workers Union (HWU) is actively working on updating numerous expired or lapsed EBAs and is committed to bringing them all up to date as quickly as possible.

I have been called into a disciplinary meeting at work. What should I do?

You are entitled to have a support person with you. Always make sure you have your workplace delegate or Union organiser with you.

Who is my union delegate?

The Union does not publicly list who Union delegates are. You can however ring the Union office on (03) 9341 3300 and this information may be provided. You will need your membership number handy.

How do I get in contact with my union representative?

The Union does not publicly list who Union delegates are. You can however ring the Union office on (03) 9341 3300 and this information may be provided. You will need your membership number handy.

I work at two different facilities. Am I entitled to travel allowance to travel between worksites?

When an employee is traveling on duty and the employer cannot provide suitable transport, the employer will cover reasonable expenses for fares, meals, and accommodation with proper documentation. Reimbursement is subject to agreed-upon standards.

If an employee uses their own vehicle for work, they are eligible for per-kilometer allowances. Compensation for travel exceeding 30 minutes beyond the normal commute may include overtime pay or time off in lieu.

It’s essential to refer to the specific terms in your Enterprise Agreement, Individual Work Contract, and Position Description, as variations may exist in different agreements.

My family member is ill. What carers leave am I entitled to?

Carer’s leave allows employees to take time off to care for a sick or injured immediate family or household member during a family emergency. This leave is deducted from the employee’s personal leave balance.

The entitlement to sick and carers leave is influenced by enterprise agreements and classification structures.

Immediate family members include spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings, including step-relations and adoptive relations. A household member is defined as any person living with the employee.

What breaks am I entitled to?

Employees are entitled to a meal interval of not less than 30 minutes and not more than 60 minutes after working continuously for more than 5 hours.

I am required to wear a uniform. Am I responsible for purchasing it?
  1. The employer provides uniforms or special clothing to employees at no cost.
  2. Replacement is done based on fair ‘wear and tear.’
  3. The employer supplies necessary gloves, masks, protective clothing, and safety appliances for employees to perform their job safely.
  4. If employees are required to purchase such items, the employer fully reimburses them.
  5. Uniforms and protective clothing provided by the employer remain the property of the employer.
How many hours must I have between shifts?

An employee is entitled to a 10 to 12 hour break between each consecutive shift, though this varies on your Enterprise Agreement, Award or Employee contract.