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Smart workplace advice

Can a worker shoot through to fight bushfires?

by 19 December 2019Employee Misconduct, News Centre, Workplace News

It’s bushfire season and hardly a day goes by without a news story about out of control bushfires.

Many workplaces have volunteer firefighters in their midst and employers can be unsure of what to do during bushfire season.

Employers need to understand the workplace laws regulating when volunteer firefighters can be validly absent from work and when they are prevented from leaving their employer in the lurch.

An employer who gets it wrong can be faced with an expensive legal claim in the Fair Work Commission.

  • So, what if one of your employees wants to leave work suddenly to fight bushfires?
  • What are your rights as an employer in that situation?
  • What are the employee’s rights?
  • Can you stop an employee from leaving the workplace in the lurch?
  • What about a request for time off the next day to recover from fighting the fires through the night?

Our Principal, Brad Petley, was interviewed on ABC Radio about this tricky subject.

Listen in to find out whether volunteer firefighter “Bob” has to stay at work or whether he can validly leave to fight bushfires.

Listen to the interview for the answers

About the author

Brad PetleyBrad Petley, is the Principal of Acumen Lawyers, a boutique employment and safety legal practice based in Brisbane, but happily solving workplace issues for clients Australia-wide.

Brad is a QLS Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations Law.

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