Leave Arrangements Changes
Background â€˘ In light of recent concerns about the increasing demands and scrutiny on players, which has had a negative impact on the ability of players to achieve work / life balance, a working party consisting of the AFL, the AFLPA and representatives of Clubs have agreed to change the structure of the current leave arrangements. â€˘ We agree with the AFL that providing players a more meaningful leave period will help address some of the work / life balance issues that have emerged recently.
Guiding Principles Need for players to receive: • genuine leave period; • meaningful period of time away from game; and • engage in personal and professional development. Balanced with need to provide players with: • adequate structure and support to prepare for preseason.
Set Return Dates No Finals / Elim Week 1
0-4 year players
5 year plus players
0-4 year players
5 year plus players
• These dates will vary slightly each year (to start on a Monday). • In most cases, a player’s last day will be the Tuesday after the last match.
Key outcomes • Over 70% of players will receive a longer break under the new arrangements (note: ALL players will receive more leave in total under the new arrangements) • No variations (easy to enforce) • Limited loading prior to Christmas (1 additional day off) • Extra leave over Christmas (2 week break) • 4 guaranteed mini breaks during the season and preseason • No monitoring of players during leave period
Training Schedule Pre-Christmas Schedule • 4 days per week. • With support of playing group, can train 3 days and 2 half days per week. A half day is a maximum of 4 hours, or 2 hours 8-10am on a Saturday morning. Post Christmas “Full Training” schedule • Players must receive 2 days off including the Sundays.
Christmas Break and Mini Breaks • All players will now receive a 2 week break at Christmas. • An extended break over Christmas will also deliver valuable time to coaches, administrators and support staff. • 2 x 3 day ‘mini-breaks’ to be provided during January and March. • 2 x 4 day ‘mini-breaks’ to be provided during the 2 bye rounds.
Medical Services Medical services available for players â€˘ Clubs to make medical services available during leave period and provide players with list of relevant contacts â€˘ Clubs and players encouraged to arrange convenient access to medical services (i.e. where player is located during leave period)
Injured Players Rehabilitation programs for injured players • Reasonable rehabilitation guidelines may be provided to injured players. • Clubs may place reasonable treatment guidelines and reporting requirements on players with a Serious Injury. • “Serious Injury” means any injury that would require a player to miss 6 weeks or more based on the Club Doctor’s prognosis. • A player and Club may apply to AFL and ‘PA to vary leave arrangement on basis it is preferential for player to receive substantial leave period during the season.
Training Programs Clubs may provide players with training programs • Reasonable training guidelines may be provided to all players. Sample program provided to AFL and ‘PA
No mandatory reporting requirements during leave No monitoring of players during leave (eg, GPS tracking) Players may voluntarily use Club facilities. • Must NOT be at the direction of the Club in any way, nor may clubs request that a player undertake any other activities whilst at the Club during leave period
Fitness Standards Players required to return in reasonable level of fitness • Clubs may set guidelines for players to return in reasonable fitness (eg, skin folds and time trial time) • A Club is able to manage players who fail to meet these standards on the same basis it does currently through: – Club culture and extra conditioning – If player hasn’t reached reasonable standards by Christmas, the Club and Leadership group may notify the player, AFL and ‘PA in writing, and may make application if player does NOT meet these standards following the Christmas leave for a sanction (2% of his base salary) to be imposed
Contact from Club Guidelines • Contact from clubs to players throughout leave is not prohibited, but should be semi-regular. • Level of contact should be dependent on a player’s circumstances, including years of experience and whether player has a Serious Injury. • Contact with experienced players should be limited, whereas less experienced players can expect more frequent contact. • Players should be provided contact details of support staff to call on. However, this contact should be driven by players.
Other matters Flexibility in first year • Clubs won’t be forced to cancel trips organised in 2013. Scheduling of Best and Fairest Awards • Clubs must schedule their Best and Fairest in September or on or before the weekend after the Grand Final. Most players will have a block of at least six weeks without any employment obligations. Long Service Leave • Long service leave will be delivered to eligible players within the proposed arrangements (hence the additional 2 weeks for senior players). • In other words, no additional leave needs to be provided.
A better outcome for players Extra Leave • Over 70% of players will receive a longer break under the new arrangements (note: ALL players will receive more leave in total under the new arrangements) • All players will receive an additional two weeks’ leave (in total) through the extended Christmas break and the minibreaks, plus a further 3-7 days in pre-Christmas days off. Extra Breaks • Four mini-breaks during the season and pre-season. A gradual return • An additional day off pre-Christmas, to enable players to gradually return to their full program.