Recognise the RFS as a National reservist organisation

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RFS members are currently unpaid volunteers to State controlled bush fire emergency service organisations.  These brave people donate their time and forgo wages in order to help their communities.

 

This petition calls for the RFS to be recognised as a National reservist organisation and provide benefits to employers and employees:

• Introduce tax-free daily pay and allowances for RFS Reservists when engaged with RFS Reservist activities and training.

• Introduce a program like the Defence Employer Support Payment Scheme (ESPS) to provide financial assistance equivalent to the average weekly full-time adult ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) to eligible employers to help offset the costs of releasing employees with no restrictions on the way employers can use the money.  All employers including government organisations, public and proprietary companies, private employers, discretionary or unit trusts and self-employed RFS Reservists and would be subject similar eligibility criteria as ADF Reservists.

• Introduce legislation like the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 to protect RFS Reservists undertaking various forms of RFS service.  Making it an offence for an employer to discriminate against, disadvantage, hinder or dismiss an employee or prospective employee for rendering Defence service and requiring employers to release employees who are RFS Reservists to undertake RFS service and for the training necessary to prepare them for that service.  Whilst recognising that RFS Reservists have obligations to their employers and also not imposing unreasonable burdens on employers.

• Encourage employers to adopt a supplied best-practice model for supportive workplace arrangements and practices in order to develop an RFS Reservist Leave Policy.