Employers of emergency services volunteers play a vital role in keeping Western Australians safe. Without your support many incidents and emergencies would not receive the response they need. Many local communities rely totally on volunteers to respond to all emergencies so their temporary release from work is very important. Employee emergency services volunteers also bring considerable competency and capacity to the work place. Their training and experiences also serve to increase their skills, qualifications, leadership and confidence in the work place.
As an employer you have the final say if an employee may leave work when called to action. Their release is encouraged but not compulsory. If and when you do release an employee we encourage this to be under a prior arrangement so the employee knows the conditions under which he/she is leaving. This can be either or a combination of paid leave, unpaid leave and flexi time.
Emergency Situation Declarations
An emergency services volunteer may be ‘called to action’ during work hours. While this is encouraged to increase the effectiveness of an emergency response, it is your decision if an employee can be released, even during a declaration of an ‘Emergency Situation’.
A declaration is prescribed under the Emergency Management Act 2005 and the Fair Work Act 2009 which means, as an employer, you have certain criteria that must be followed if you release your employee/s to help. This includes the legislative requirement to pay your employee/s their base salary or wage for days they are deployed under a declaration. A declaration may be raised by the Department once or twice a year. If a declaration is raised it will be loaded directly onto the Emergency Situation Declarations page when it is created. More information for employers is provided in the resources below to explain the options around releasing employee volunteers during work hours and associated insurance arrangements etc.