I have to be careful what I say here but I am very frustrated right now and want to know if any other RA readers have had a similar experience.
I’m currently an ACTPS employee as well as a volunteer with the Emergency Services Agency, I won’t say which area. As everyone is aware NSW is experiencing some of the worst fires in recent history. ACT will probably end up sending more volunteers to the affected areas as numbers on the ground are the biggest asset in these situations.
Employers are not obligated to release staff for emergency duties but most employers are sympathetic and will release staff. Most Public Service agencies have emergency leave written into their agreements, the ACTPS certainly does. The ACTPS agreement allows an employee released for duties to take that as Emergency leave so they still get paid & it doesn’t come off annual or personal leave. NICE
However there is no incentive for an employer to release someone. Take my manager for example, he is grumpy old pr$%k who won’t release staff for any reason. I have given up asking to be release for emergency leave, as my manager immediately says no every time. He always states it is ‘Due to operational demands of the area’ which is cr@p as even when we are not busy and there are plenty of people who can cover my workload he will say the same thing. There is no incentive to release me so why should he? I have quietly overheard him talking to another manager where he stated there are always plenty of other volunteers to do the job so why should he have to release me. He also stated the he would be reluctant to employ any other ESA Volunteers for that reason.
I am seriously thinking of standing down as a volunteer as it’s frustrating putting in the time and effort for training but not been able to provide the support. My position would probably be better off been taken up by someone who can provide the support.
Has any other RA readers had similar issue with their employer? I would also like to hear how other employers support volunteers? Is private industry better than public? As an employer would someone being a volunteer influence your decision to hire them
Also what more could be done to encourage employers to release volunteers for duty? I understand for small business it can be costly to release staff but for big business & public service it shouldn’t be so difficult.