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Case Win: Understanding Mandatory Training & Payment Entitlements

A Case Study on Nurse Entitlements

Professional development through mandatory training is not uncommon. However, when it comes to attending such training on rostered days off, questions regarding entitlements and legalities often arise. 

A registered nurse (RN) approached the NPAA Queensland branch seeking clarity on an issue raised by their employer. They were informed of the necessity to attend mandatory training on a rostered day off, with the employer agreeing to cover training expenses but refusing payment for the time spent attending. Subsequently, the employer rescheduled the training to a rostered workday, still without offering compensation for attendance. Seeking guidance, the RN sought clarification on the legality of this situation.

Upon engagement with a case manager from the NPAA, a thorough review of the case details, including the employment contract, was conducted. If the training was obligatory rather than voluntary, it was considered part of the nurse's official work responsibilities. Consequently, the case manager advised that the employer should provide compensation for the time spent in mandatory training, emphasising that it constituted work duties.

The NPAA case manager highlighted the protection offered under s341 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), ensuring that no adverse action could be taken against the nurse for raising concerns about their employment rights. The recommendation was to pursue an internal grievance process, either directly supported by NPAA or with their guidance to facilitate the nurse's own lodgement.

However, after careful consideration, the member opted not to proceed with a formal grievance. Instead, they agreed to have the training conducted on a rostered workday, accepting the situation without seeking further recourse. They expressed satisfaction with the advice received from NPAA and appreciated the swift response compared to previous experiences with their previous union, the QNMU.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding one's rights and entitlements in the workplace. Mandatory training, while essential for professional development, should not impose unfair burdens on employees, especially concerning compensation for their time.

Employers should recognise the value of their employees' time and efforts, especially when mandated work-related activities encroach upon scheduled time off. Clear communication and adherence to employment regulations can help prevent such dilemmas and foster a harmonious work environment where both parties understand and respect each other's rights and responsibilities.

How is the NPAA so effective in defending members during workplace issues and disputes? Our experienced and professional case managers use our unique RED™ case resolution system.

Why is the NPAA different? We believe that real change in healthcare STARTS with empowering frontline nurses, not bureaucrats. 

If you are a member of NPAA and need assistance with a workplace issue, please submit a member support ticket on your dashboard, or contact us at 1300 263 374 - hotline@npaa.asn.au

To find out more about NPAA and become protected today visit: npaa.redunion.com.au/join