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Emergency call out entitlements procedure

Version number 1.2 | Version effective 21 September 2020
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Emergency call out entitlements procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the approach to be adopted for emergency call outs in schools and the process for employees to claim relevant entitlements. Employees who may be asked to participate in an emergency call out, either by way of on-call or recall to duty, include agricultural assistants, unit support officers, support officers, marine program officers and boat officers, schools officers and cleaners.

Overview

Employees may be asked to participate in an emergency call out. An emergency circumstance may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • damage to property arising from fires or severe weather
  • break-in or other unlawful activity
  • resecuring property following an after-hours school event.

The procedure outlines the responsibilities of employees, the process by which employees may nominate and participate in an emergency call out and subsequent claims for relevant entitlements. 

Employees who nominate to participate may be on-call for duty or recalled for duty. On-call refers to where an employee is instructed to be available on-call outside of ordinary or rostered work hours, which may include being part of an on-call roster. Recall refers to where an employee is recalled to perform duty after undertaking their ordinary working hours.

Employees who are placed on an on-call roster or who are recalled to attend the workplace for an emergency call out will be paid in accordance with their applicable Award.

Responsibilities

Principal or nominated officer

  • Determine how emergency call out will be responded to at a workplace and implement the applicable local processes and work instructions.
  • Consider human rights when responding to emergency call outs.
  • Establish and maintain an on-call roster or recall roster to enable emergency call outs to be managed appropriately.
  • Outline the employee’s duties and responsibilities associated with being on-call or being recalled in an emergency circumstance.
  • Assess any risks associated with a possible emergency call out circumstance, using a risk assessment process.
  • Where an emergency call out arises, direct an employee who has indicated a willingness to attend to respond to the emergency call out.
  • Provide employees involved in an on-call or recall roster with access to telephone or email.
  • Ensure the employee is able to access appropriate means of transport if they are on-call or are recalled to duty during an emergency circumstance.
  • Remain accessible by telephone or email to support employees attending an emergency call out. 
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the responsibilities associated with agreeing to attend to an emergency call out, and the need to comply with the department’s School security procedure and Disaster and emergency management procedure.
  • Ensure the safety of staff engaged in emergency call outs in accordance with the department’s School security procedure and Disaster and emergency management procedure.

Delegated officer

  • Authorise payments to employees who are entitled to on-call allowance or overtime in the event of a recall.

Employees

  • Inform the principal if they are willing to agree to attend work for an emergency call out circumstance.
  • Respond to the incident if called out, including following all instructions given by alarm responding agents or repair contractors and avoiding hazards or risks.
  • Understand the responsibilities associated with agreeing to attend to an emergency call out which includes being fit for duty, and in a suitable condition to facilitate logical and rational judgement in the circumstance of an emergency.
  • Remain accessible by telephone or email, supplied by the principal, or nominated officer
  • Be available to report to the workplace within 30 minutes, or a time that is practical based upon the travel conditions, at the time of being called out.
  • Comply with the School security procedure and Disaster and emergency management procedure.
  • Ensure claims for on-call allowance and/or overtime payments are completed in a timely manner.

Process

1. Employee agrees to participate in emergency call out circumstance

  • The principal, or nominated officer, discusses with the employee/s their willingness to be on-call and/or to attend emergency call out if required.
  • A principal, or nominated officer, may determine that an on-call rostering arrangement or a recall arrangement is the appropriate process to be implemented.  When making this decision, the principal, or nominated officer must:
    • assess the risk, using the risk assessment process (e.g. the principal may need to refer to the Disaster and emergency management procedure or the School security procedure)
    • determine the operational requirements
    • ensure the availability of employees to be rostered on-call or recalled to duty; and
    • ensure the roster is regularly reviewed to meet the operational requirements.
  • Where it is necessary to introduce an on-call or recall arrangement, the principal or nominated officer should consult with those employees who may be required to participate in the on-call or recall arrangements.
    • The consultation process should consider employees’ family responsibilities, access to a vehicle and any health or other issues that could affect participation in the arrangements.
    • As part of the recruitment process newly appointed employees who may be required to participate in these arrangements should be advised of this possibility.
    • Records of the consultation process and all other advice should be maintained.
    • Ensure, where practical, employees are not required to be rostered on-call for a period in excess of six weeks.

2. Principal, or nominated officer, notifies employee of required attendance to emergency call out

  • The principal, or nominated officer, can request that the employee attend to an emergency call out. This will be dependent on the local processes that are in place at the school which may include a roster for on-call or recall.
  • Even if the employee has previously indicated they are prepared to attend work for emergency circumstance call outs, they have the right to say no at the time of the request.
  • If this occurs, the principal, or nominated officer, must source an alternative person to attend the call out. This may include contacting other employees who have previously indicated they are prepared to attend for an emergency call out.
  • If an employee declines to attend an emergency call out on several occasions, the principal or nominated officer should confirm whether the employee remains willing to assist and update the roster, if required.

3. Employee attends emergency circumstance call out

  • The employee must follow all instructions given by the alarm responding agents or repair contractors.  For example, the employee must not enter school grounds unless directed to do so by the alarm responding agent or repair contractor.
  • The employee must ensure that personal safety is paramount and is not compromised by any risks or hazards associated with the emergency call out. For example the employee must not:
    • directly attend to an emergency circumstance without an alarm responding agent being present
    • physically apprehend a break-in suspect
    • attempt to extinguish a fire unless it is reasonably safe to do so, and ensure that firefighting is always secondary to the safety of people.
  • The employee manages the matter via email or telephone and records the time and/or attends the emergency call out, ensuring they comply with the responsibilities listed in this procedure.
  • Where the employee works in excess of two hours during the emergency call out (actual time worked) inclusive of travelling time the employee may be entitled to claim fatigue leave as follows:
    • Fatigue leave provides 10 consecutive hours off duty without loss of pay for hours ordinarily worked.
    • Where an employee is instructed by the principal, or nominated officer, to resume/continue work without having had 10 consecutive hours off duty (fatigue leave), the employee shall be paid double-time rates until released from duty.
    • An employee contacted to respond to an emergency call out, under a recall arrangement, is not obligated or required to attend the workplace and cannot be directed to respond.
    • An employee, who is recalled to duty, must be provided with transport to and from home (or their current location), or be refunded the cost.
    • Once the employee is released from duty, the employee is then entitled to fatigue leave.

4. Employee requests payment of relevant entitlements

  • The principal or nominated officer will review the records kept by the employees in relation to the emergency call out to determine what payment should be made to the employee.
  • The employee (with the exception of casual cleaners) must complete the appropriate form on the next business day or as soon as practicable after attending the emergency call out.
  • Once the form is completed it should be given to the principal or nominated officer for approval.

5. Principal, or delegated officer, authorises payment of relevant entitlements

Definitions

Term

Definition

Alarm responding agent

Is restricted to:

  • State Government Security Service
  • Licensed security providers
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
  • Queensland Police Service

Award

General Employees (Queensland Government Departments) and Other Employees Award – State 2015 or the Queensland Public Service Officers and Other Employees Award – State 2015.

Employee/s

Means any schools officer, agricultural assistant, unit support officer, support officer, marine program officer and boat officer, or cleaner employed by the Department of Education, whether engaged on a permanent, temporary or casual capacity and whether employed on a full time or part time basis.

Delegated officer

Delegated officer means the officer with relevant financial delegation to authorise payment. For cleaners, this is the principal, supervisor or another officer delegated under the Human Resources Delegations Manual.

For other employees, this is the principal, nominated officer, or another officer delegated under the Human Resources Delegations Manual (DoE employees only).

Emergency circumstances

May include, but are not limited to:

  • damage to property arising from fires or severe weather
  • break-in or other unlawful activity
  • resecuring property following an after-hours school event.

Fatigue leave

An employee who works between the termination of ordinary work on one day and the commencement of ordinary work on the next day so that 10 consecutive hours off duty has not occurred shall be released after completion of such overtime until 10 consecutive hours off duty does occur without loss of pay for ordinary working time occurring during such absence.

If a 10 hour break is not provided, the employee is entitled to receive overtime until such time as the break is provided to the employee.

Nominated officer

Means the officer delegated with the relevant authority by the principal.

On-call

The situation where an employee is instructed to be available on-call outside ordinary or rostered work hours.

Recall

The situation where an employee is recalled to perform duty after undertaking their normal duties. Recall includes where an employee resides or remains on or about their place of work and is required to perform duties on an intermittent basis outside their ordinary hours of duty.

Repair contractor

A company or contractor specifically engaged to undertake repair work at a school location.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 School Cleaners Emergency Call Out

3.0 School cleaners emergency call out

1.0 Emergency call out entitlements

Review date

13 February 2022
Attribution CC BY
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