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Workers Allowed Time Off To Vote

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

Workers Allowed Time Off To Vote: Employers Reminded

Employers are reminded they may be required to let staff who have to work on polling day some time off, on full pay, to vote.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) says Section 162 of the Electoral Act 1993 sets out the relevant employer obligations.

"On polling day anyone required to start work at a time that doesn't allow them a reasonable opportunity to vote beforehand has to be allowed the rest of the day off after 3pm to vote," said Peter Tritt, EMA's Manager of Advisory Services.

"Employers can't deduct any employee wages for this time; it's part of the contribution employers make.

"Polling booths open by law from 9am to 7 pm.

"If an employee didn't have a reasonable opportunity to vote beforehand, and is required to work after 3pm because of essential work or services, then their employer must allow them reasonable time off to vote. Up to two hours fully paid has to be provided.

"Employers can be fined up to $1000 if they ignore this law.

"Unless their employment agreements say otherwise, employees working overtime on July 27th don't qualify for paid voting time.

"Employers affected should plan for this in work rosters and advise their employees in advance of these requirements," said Mr Tritt.

Ends


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