This update informs you of your Award rights if you are prevented from attending work due to the recent floods.

The clause in the 2020 NSW Local Government State Award is Clause 12 PAYMENT OF EMPLOYEES.

(v) An employee’s ordinary pay shall not be reduced when the employee is prevented from attending work due to bushfire or other climatic circumstance beyond their control, provided that this subclause shall not apply if:

  • alternative duties are available that the employee can usefully perform, or
  • the bushfire or other climatic circumstance occurred outside of the State of NSW, or
  • the employee has been unable to attend work for more than one week per bushfire or other climatic circumstance event. The employee may in exceptional circumstances, apply to the employer for paid special leave and such request shall not be unreasonably refused.

In regard to the above clause there is no doubt that the recent and current flooding situation meets the criteria for climatic circumstances event.

If you haven’t been asked or directed to perform alternative duties that could usefully have been performed while being unable to attend to your normal duties, you are entitled to receive your ordinary pay and should not have suffered a reduction in your ordinary pay, nor should you have been required to utilise your accrued leave first .

Ordinary pay is the normal pay that you would have received for your normal hours which you would have worked.

If you were prevented from getting to work due to flooding in another State this clause would not ordinarily apply, however there may be employers near the State border who have staff who reside on the other side of the border who are prevented from getting to work, who may approve this payment.

A reoccurring flood which had receded but then came up again should be considered as separate events.

If you are a current USU member or wish to join the USU and need advice or assistance regarding your rights under this clause please contact us at 1300 136 604 or