Accessing natural disaster, emergency and pandemic leave

1 February, 2021

Where a natural disaster and/or emergency, and/or further outbreaks of COVID-19 occurs, our union is with our members every step of the way.

Fundamentally, where members have safety concerns in the event of natural disaster or emergency, such as severe weather, they should follow the advice of emergency services and advise their workplace accordingly.

Natural disaster and emergency provisions

Emergency & Natural Disaster Leave provisions can be found in the collective agreements that apply to Queensland Catholic and Anglican schools as well as some independent schools.

Where a provision exists in your collective agreement, employees can access paid leave if they are prevented from attending their workplace due to natural disaster or emergency such as fire, flooding, cyclonic disturbance or severe storms.

This leave allows employees to ensure the safety of themselves, their family and their property and applies where employees are unable to travel to and from their home or workplace.

Pandemic provisions

Pandemic leave should be available to employees in the event an employee is unable to attend work due implications of COVID-19.

Stringent health and safety precautions remain paramount for all workplaces and employers need to ensure that adequate protections, including PPE, soap, and sanitisers, are in place for staff and students.

It is essential your workplace has a COVID-19 response plan in place that is communicated clearly to all staff and families.

IEU is with you

History has demonstrated the importance of up-to-date and appropriate natural disaster and emergency provisions in collective agreements and national awards.

IEU members have fought for and won these provisions through collective bargaining, so that in a natural disaster or emergency, their working rights are protected and they can keep themselves and their families safe.

Members experiencing issues accessing leave in these circumstances should contact our union branch immediately for advice and support.


FREECALL: 1800 177 938 (QLD) or 1800 351 996 (NT).


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