South Australian Employment Tribunal Confirms a 3.5% Increase in “Maximum” Recreation Leave Loading | The State Government Response | Appeal the Decision!

03 June 2019

The maximum amount of leave loading paid to public sector workers for annual recreation leave is decided by the Public Service (Recreation Leave Loading) Award (here).

This payment is generally adjusted as part of the State Wage Case each year, along with other allowances. Last year the government resisted the increase in the recreation leave loading arguing it should only be 2% not 3.5% like all other allowances awarded through the state wage case.

This delayed the decision, but following advocacy by SA Unions and the PSA, the Full Bench of the South Australian Industrial Tribunal recently confirmed that a 3.5% increase is appropriate. This lifts the maximum amount payable to non-shift workers from $882.10 (1 July 2017 increase) to $912.97 (1 July 2018) payable from first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018. An increase of $30.87.

Despite the small gain this represents for those receiving the maximum amount, the state government has decided to appeal against the $30.87 increase.

The PSA is joining with SA Unions and other public sector unions to oppose this appeal.

The PSA will keep you informed on progress with the appeal.

How the leave loading works

Non-shift workers

Employees generally receive 17.5% leave loading capped at a maximum amount. The recent decision raised the maximum from $882.10 to $912.97.

Once 17.5% of salary is equivalent to this figure that is the maximum loading that will be paid to non-shift workers regardless of salary. This is just above the current rate for an ASO3.

Any non-shift workers at or above ASO4, OPS4, AHP1/3, PO1/3, Mes 1/3 TGO2/1, SSO2/4 will receive the maximum.

Shift workers

For a shift worker or a seven day a week worker the award stipulates that if the allowances and penalties payable on the normal roster for the relevant period exceed $912.97 then a worker on leave will receive an amount equal to those allowances and penalties.

The principle is that no worker can receive less while they are on leave than if they were at work.