The GEC has seen an influx of queries regarding members’ rights to TDA, with a number of areas reporting the employer’s refusal to adhere to policy and procedure.
Policy states: You are eligible for TDA if you are required to work temporarily at a higher grade for half a day or more.
More and more we are seeing an expectation placed on staff to cover work that is over and above their responsibility. In two of the many recent cases we have found the employer refusing to pay TDA stating, in one instance, that during absences of up to five days, work will be ‘absorbed’ by the team. In the second instance, a member of staff has been ‘afraid’ to take annual leave, again due to the employer’s refusal to pay TDA to colleagues whilst they go off to rest and recuperate. The work will simply pile up and have to be dealt with on their return.
This is an untenable situation for our members and the GEC are taking every case to the door of the employer.
The crux of the TDA issue lies with the employer’s perception of the ‘requirement’ to put staff on temporary duties. And it is exactly that ‘perception’, the perception of ‘no requirement’ that has seen our members working out of grade, becoming snowed under, extremely stressed, with no additional pay, and writing to their union for assistance.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure work is covered during leave periods, it is not the responsibility of our members.
Procedures further state: Managers may authorise TDA to cover vacancies, temporary posts or employee absences where you are competent to take on all the duties of the higher grade post.
If you are doing the work, it is accepted that you are competent to do so, and so should be paid accordingly. PCS members’ good-will, as well meant as it may be to offer to help, will allow bad management practices to continue; if good-will is given by some, it can create problems for all.
Temporary Duties are voluntary - staff should not, under any circumstances, volunteer to undertake unpaid duties that are covered by the TDA policy.
The GEC will continue to challenge unjust and perverse cases on behalf of PCS members. Any evidence of the employer’s failure to adhere to TDA policy should be raised immediately with your local PCS representative, and if not resolved, forwarded to Group Office.