Notice period: is worker paid to attend job interview?

Q&A

Notice period: is worker paid to attend job interview?

If an employee is being made redundant, are they entitled to be paid while attending a job interview?

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

If an employee is being made redundant, are they entitled to be paid while attending a job interview?

This question was recently sent to our Ask an Expert service.
 
Q A number of positions within our organisation will become redundant at the end of this month. All the affected employees have been given the appropriate period of notice, based on their years of service. One employee was absent during the first week of notice to attend an interview for another job. The employee has been docked a day’s pay as they did not apply for annual leave and the reason for the absence did not qualify for personal/carer’s leave.

The employee has received advice they are entitled to a paid day off during the notice period to seek other employment.  This is a condition the company has never had brought to its attention. Is the employee entitled to paid time off to attend an interview during a period of notice of termination? The employee is employed under the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010.
 
A In this case – yes. The majority of modern awards contain a ‘Job search entitlement’ when an employee’s position is made redundant which allows an employee paid time off to attend interviews. Such a provision is contained in the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010 (cl 13.4) and is referred to as ‘Job search entitlement’.
 
The clause provides for the following:

(a) An employee given notice of termination in circumstances of redundancy must be allowed up to one day’s time off without loss of pay during each week of notice for the purpose of seeking other employment.
(b) If the employee has been allowed paid leave for more than one day during the notice period for the purpose of seeking other employment, the employee must, at the request of the employer, produce proof of attendance at an interview or they will not be entitled to payment for the time absent. For this purpose a statutory declaration is sufficient.
This means, for example, an employee given four weeks’ notice of their redundancy is entitled to up to four days job search entitlement during the period of notice to attend interviews seeking other employment, subject to the production of satisfactory evidence of attending interviews after one day’s entitlement has been claimed by the employee.
Reference should be made to the applicable modern award to determine whether an employee is entitled to a job search entitlement. 

Termination other than redundancy

A common provision in modern awards is that where notice has been given by the employer to an employee, other than for a redundancy, an employee must be allowed up to one day’s time off with pay for the purpose of seeking other employment, at times convenient to the employee, after consultation with the employer.
 
While there is a job search entitlement prescribed specifically for redundancy, there will also normally be an entitlement when the employer terminates an employee’s employment for reasons other than redundancy.

For example, the Storage Services and Warehouse Award 2010 (cl 12.3) provides that where an employer has given notice of termination to an employee, an employee must be allowed up to one day’s time off without loss of pay for the purpose of seeking other employment. The time off is to be taken at times that are convenient to the employee after consultation with the employer.
 
The difference in this case being the employee’s job search entitlement is limited to one day’s pay for the period of notice.
 
The job search entitlement does not apply where an employee resigns.


Need more help with people management?

Australian Business Consulting and Solutions has a dedicated team of HR experts who can assist you with your specific people management issues and problems. If you would like a free and obligation-free initial assessment of what you require in terms of professional assistance, you can obtain more information from our website.
Post details