HSR WINS PAY FOR INSPECTIONS ON DAYS OFF

Fire & Rescue NSW must pay a HSR for inspections done on his days off, despite not having prior approval. Asked to examine the correct interpretation of the NSW WHS Act's sections 70(2) and (3) - which state that employers must allow HSRs ‘reasonable’ time to perform their functions and pay them for doing so - NSW IRC Commissioner Christopher Muir ruled on Friday that in certain circumstances, these obligations extend to any occasion when the HSR unilaterally decides that inspections are warranted.

The firefighter, who has no set workdays, inspected multiple stations and was initially denied payment by his employer. However, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) ruled that HSRs should be paid for reasonable time spent performing their duties, even outside normal working hours, if necessary.

Fire & Rescue NSW argued that the ruling could have significant implications, requiring them to pay HSRs for unapproved inspections. In response, the Commissioner emphasized that while HSRs must be paid for their duties, each case should be assessed individually to determine reasonableness, and the finding does not necessarily create a blanket obligation for all inspections.

Review the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales decision here

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