Members are reminded of the ability to take FACS leave during times of disaster. The following additional information has been provided by the NSW Public Sector Industrial Relations in responding to the natural disasters members are facing. 

Employees directly impacted

Employees who are prevented from attending work due to the severe weather and flooding may be granted Family and Community Service Leave (FACS) to cover the period of the emergency. This includes employees who are required to care for their children due to cancellation of child-care services or school closures.

Where an employee does not have enough FACS leave to cover the absence, the Department Head may grant 5 days additional FACS Leave in accordance with subclause 71.6 of the Conditions Award.  Further additional FACS Leave (above the 5 days referred to above) may be granted at the Agency Head’s discretion where the absence is absolutely necessary. Similar provisions apply to police officers under the Crown Employees (Police Officers 2021) Award. 

Consideration may also be given to extending the settlement period of flexible working hours arrangements and to accommodating other flexible working arrangements.

Employees who volunteer to assist Emergency Services

Employees who volunteer as members of safety organisations during major operational responses or declared emergencies are able to apply for leave on full pay for the period they are absent from duty. For more detail see 6.17.7 of the Public Service Industrial Relations Guide.

Employees who are unable to attend work because workplaces are not operational

Where Agencies have workplaces that are not operational due to the severe weather and flooding it is the Agency’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to provide alternative workplace accommodation or flexible working arrangements to affected employees, where it is safe to do so.

FACS Leave in General

You can view the PANSW FACS Leave Fact Sheet for your general FACS Leave entitlements questions