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Union says swim teachers set up and pack up is paid work

Union says swim teachers set up and pack up is paid work
April 13, 2021

The Swim Instructors Association (SIA) has commenced a campaign highlighting that swim teachers’ activities in set up and pack up at swim schools and pools is paid work and that employees “need to be paid for it”.

A notice from the SIA, a division of the Australian Workers Union, asks “are you required to come in 'before your shift' to take off pool covers, put platforms/lane ropes in the pool, and prepare equipment for lessons?

“Do you clock off when lessons are finished but are then expected to pack up equipment, do some cleaning, a pool test, or put covers on the pool?”

In both cases, the SIA point out that “this is work and you need to be paid for it.”

Commenting on its action, a Swim Instructors Association spokesperson advised “it's a common practice across the industry that swim teachers are paid from the start of their lessons through to their conclusion but are then required by their employer to do additional tasks - set-up/pack-up - and procedures outside of their paid time.

“We have seen changes in a number of workplaces where set-up/pack-up is now rostered and employees are no longer undertaking unpaid work. Recent investigations of one Victorian based swim school, resulting in mass back pay, included a significant amount of backpay due to this practice, so our claim that it is paid work is not just us saying it's the fair thing to do, it's also supported by the authority.

“Other common examples of unpaid work across the industry include unpaid training, unpaid meetings and admin tasks relating to classes, such as writing up certificates and reports.

“We're attempting to educate members and others following our page of their rights under the award, but also under the Fair Work Act through our 'Know Your Award' series and other posts which usually represent the kinds of issues people are coming to the SIA about.”

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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