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Wednesday, 9 November 1904

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow: -

1.   The general principle followed in regard to leave of absence for recreation is that it is given when the officer can be spared without inconvenience to the public business, and upon the understanding that where there are a number of officers, those remaining conduct the work of the office without additional assistance. Arelieving staff is employed in Queensland, and where the work cannot be reasonably carried on by the staff during the absence of any of its members, they are utilized in affording assistance.

2.   The officers are compensated in such cir cumstances by the granting of time off for the overtime worked.

3.   It would seriously interfere with the working of the various offices if provision had to be made to provide for differing periods of leave to officers, whereas it is practicable to allow an officer to take a day, or a few days, off occasionally without imposing too great a strain on the remainder of the staff. In country offices there are times when the work is slack, when the overtime can be easily worked off.

Action in these matters is governed by the provisions of the Commonwealth Public Service Act and Regulations.

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