Australia Post faces Commission for denying workers’ sick leave entitlements

Postal workers have been stripped of their sick leave entitlements for bogus reasons, including calling in sick ‘too early’, says their union.

Australia Post has directed employees to call in sick only during a one-hour window before the commencement of their shift. Workers who have called in several hours before their start time have had their paid docked and had disciplinary procedures initiated against them, according to the CEPU.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission will hear the case further today after discussions between the CEPU and Australia Post management failed to resolve the issue.

The CEPU says Australia Post’s sick leave policy is a scam, imposing conditions not contained in the award or under any industrial law which includes WorkChoices.

“We are extremely disturbed by Post’s attempts to bully staff out of receiving sick leave entitlements,” said Jim Metcher, Secretary of the CEPU Postal and Telecommunications NSW Branch.

“The actions by Australia Post to deny employees of their sick leave entitlements and impose additional conditions over and above the Award and the law to satisfy eligibility is unacceptable and just plain unlawful.”

The CEPU said numerous Australia Post employees have reported being told to notify their sick leave only one hour before shift commencement.

In addition, Australia Post is requiring workers returning from sick leave to sign a medical release authority form giving management permission to call their doctor and question them about their medical condition.

“This is a gross invasion of privacy, and demonstrates the disrespect Australia Post management holds for its workforce,” said Mr Metcher.

“We will be doing everything in our power to challenge Post’s  ‘Sick Policy’ and restore fairness and dignity and respect for all Post employees Australia wide .”

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