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Supervisor's guide to leave

1. What should I do when I receive a leave request in MyHR?

Supervisor, but not delegated to approve leave:

  • Ensure the employee has met any conditions associated with the granting of the leave.
  • Ensure the employee has supplied any required documentation - see supporting documentation below for further information.

You can:

  • Leave as Pending - to be actioned later

    Where you are awaiting documentation or want to send a message to the employee clarifying some detail.
  • Refer the request to the delegated officer

    Include a message if further documentation is being referred to them or you wish to add some comment/recommendation about the application.

Delegated to approve leave:

  • Ensure the employee has met any conditions associated with the granting of the leave.
  • Ensure the employee has supplied any required documentation - see supporting documentation below for further information.

You can:

  • Leave as Pending - to be actioned later

    Where you are awaiting documentation or want to send a message to the employee clarifying some detail.
  • Approve the request

    You have the option to add a message. Unless you deselect the ticked box next to their name, both the employee and their nominated supervisor, will receive an automatic confirmation email; or
  • Decline the request

    If you are declining a request for leave:
    • You should always speak to the employee before taking this action in MyHR;
    • Try to negotiate a mutually agreeable alternative; and
    • Confirm the details in a message before selecting 'Action' and advising the employee that the leave has been denied.

2. What if supporting documentation such as a medical certificate is required?

If supporting documents such as medical certificates are provided/required:

  • Obtain the original document/s.
  • Check:
    • That the documentation covers the period of leave;
    • They are the appropriate supporting documents for the type of leave requested. i.e. a medical certificate from a medical doctor - not from a chiropractor or dentist.
    • That the employee has written their employee number (from MyHR) on the original documentation.
    • That you have added a comment eg 'original medical certificate sighted 5/4/12' in the message field in MyHR.
  • Forward the original documentation:
    • If you are not delegated to approve the leave - forward request to the delegated officer; or
    • If you are the delegated officer - forward to HR Services.

    If the documentation is incorrect or incomplete:

    • Select 'Leave as Pending';
    • Advise the employee what you require in the message box; and
    • Select 'Return To'.
  • Follow up any outstanding documentation before referring/approving the leave request.
  • If the required documentation cannot be provided:

    • Discuss the options available with the employee;
    • Consider whether other types of leave (eg annual leave or leave without pay) need to be taken.

3. Leave basics

For most University employees, the University's current Enterprise Agreement governs their employment conditions and the following summaries provide a quick guide to the leave provisions within the agreement. More comprehensive information concerning each of the types of leave is available from the HR Services website and can be accessed from the links provided below.

These leave provisions do not apply to casual employees.

Annual leave

  • MyHR prevents employees for applying for annual leave in excess of their accrual.
  • As far as practical, the granting of annual leave is by agreement between you and the employee.
  • Annual leave is not deducted for public holidays that fall during a period of annual leave.
  • Annual leave accumulates up to a maximum of eight weeks entitlement. If the employee's annual leave balance is approaching the maximum, discuss the need to take further leave with them.

Further information: Annual leave procedures

Personal leave

  • If the absence is more than three consecutive working days, a medical doctor's certificate is required. A certificate from a dentist or para health professional is not acceptable.
  • A clearance medical certificate is required if an employee wishes to return from personal leave before the end date on a medical certificate.
  • Personal leave is not granted if flexi leave has been approved and the employee does not advise that they are ill until the day of the flexi leave.
  • If an employee is ill while on annual leave or long service leave (LSL), their leave may be re-credited. Please use the following link to the personal leave procedures for circumstances where this may apply.
  • New employees can access their first year's personal leave entitlement on commencement.

Further information: Personal leave procedures

Carer's leave

  • Employees are entitled to 10 days carer's leave per annum. Part-time employees are entitled to carer's leave on a pro-rata basis.
  • Absences of three days or more must be supported by a medical certificate specifying the duration of the illness from which the employee's family or household member is suffering and that care is required.
  • Untaken carer's leave does not accrue from year to year.
  • If an employee exhausts their annual carer's leave entitlement they may access their accrued personal leave entitlement for carer's leave purposes. A supporting medical certificate specifying the employee is required to provide care and the duration of the illness/injury from which the employee's family or household member is suffering is required for absences of three days or more. The employee must have responsibility for the care of the family member concerned and clearly establish the need for carer's leave.
  • 'Family member' refers to:
    • Spouse, de facto spouse or same sex partner;
    • Child, including adopted, foster, ex-nuptial or step child;
    • Parent, including foster parent or legal guardian;
    • Grandparent, grandchild or sibling;
    • Another relative who is a member of the employee's household;
    • Child, parent grandparent or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto partner; and
    • For Indigenous Australian employees, family member also includes aunties, uncles, cousins and significant Indigenous community leaders.

Further information: Carer's leave procedures

Special leave

  • The employee must complete a leave application and after approval, the application is referred to HR Services for actioning.
  • Special leave of up to a maximum of three days per calendar year may be granted to:
    • Attend an employee's own graduation ceremony;
    • Attend NAIDOC celebrations;
    • Attend citizenship ceremonies;
    • Attend religious and other ceremonial events;
    • Employees experiencing domestic or family violence - to access or attend to medical, legal or other related support services*; and
    • Other special personal circumstances as approved.
  • Employees experiencing domestic or family violence may apply for an additional period of special leave up to a maximum of three days per calendar year. This maximum is inclusive of other periods of special leave taken during the calendar year. The employee may be required to provide evidence in the form of a document issued by the Police Force, a Court, a Doctor, a Domestic Violence Support Service or Lawyer to support any period of absence on domestic violence grounds exceeding three days.
  • Requests for additional leave will be considered in severe climatic circumstances.
  • Entitlement does not accumulate from year to year.
  • The leave taken is to be limited to the minimum time necessary.
  • Special leave will not be granted if an employee is absent on another period of approved leave.
  • Where special leave is not approved, the employee must access another form as leave, i.e. LWOP, annual leave etc.

Further information: Special leave procedures

Compassionate leave

  • An employee may be granted paid compassionate leave of up to three days per occasion due to the death or life threatening illness or injury of an immediate family member.
  • The leave taken is to be limited to the minimum time necessary.
  • The onus is on the employee to clearly establish the need for compassionate leave to the satisfaction of the authorising officer.
  • 'Immediate family member' refers to:
    • Spouse, de facto spouse or same sex partner;
    • Child, including adopted, foster, ex-nuptial or step child;
    • Parent, including foster parent or legal guardian;
    • Grandparent, grandchild or sibling;
    • Another relative who is a member of the employee's household;
    • Child, parent grandparent or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto partner; and
    • For Indigenous Australian employees, family member also includes aunties, uncles, cousins and significant Indigenous community leaders.

Further information: Compassionate leave procedures

Long service leave (LSL)

  • The employee must complete a leave application and after approval, the application is referred to HR Services for actioning.
  • LSL is granted in working days.
  • Minimum period - two weeks, however if compassionate circumstances apply and no other form of leave available, lesser periods may be approved.
  • Employees can elect to take LSL at either full pay or half pay and must indicate if half pay is required when applying for the leave.
  • Employees are encouraged to take LSL when it falls due and are entitled to take LSL at a time of their choosing, subject to the specified notice periods.
  • Where possible an employee intending to take LSL is required to provide at least six months written notice of the leave.
  • LSL is not deducted for public holidays that fall during a period of LSL.
  • LSL may be re-credited if an employee is ill while on leave, please use the following link to the LSL procedures for circumstances where this may apply.
  • Entitlement/accrual rates:
    • After 10 years' service: 65 working days.
    • 10 - 15 years' service: 6.5 working days per year.
    • After 15 years' service: 10.869 working days per year.

Further information: Long service leave procedures

Leave without pay (LWOP)

  • ##The employee must complete a leave application and after approval, the application is referred to HR Services for actioning.
  • LWOP is at the University's discretion and each application is considered on its merits.
  • Normally, LWOP will be restricted to a minimum period of one day and a maximum period of one year.
  • Flexi-time credits, time-in-lieu credits, annual leave and long service leave should be exhausted before lengthy periods of LWOP are granted. Exceptions to this are when LWOP is taken for:
    • Reasons of a compassionate nature, or for professional development, where activities pursued during the leave will enhance the professional development of the employee and benefit the University. In such cases the employee can request to retain leave credits. Each case will be assessed on its merits.
  • LWOP commences on the first working day of the leave (excluding public holidays) and ceases on the day prior to resumption, regardless of whether that day is a working day (i.e. often a Sunday).
  • Payment is not made for any public holidays occurring during a period of LWOP.

Further information: Leave without pay procedures

Study time

  • When study time is initially approved in HR Services, the maximum grant for the academic session will be activated in MyHR.
  • The employee must negotiate the arrangements for taking study time with you and obtain agreement before they take study time.
  • Study time is a privilege, not a right, and while the study commitments and wishes of the employee will be considered, time off is always subject to the operational needs of the work unit.
  • Any unused portion of the study time grant cannot be carried into a future academic session.

Further information: Study time

Examination leave

  • Professional employees are only eligible for examination leave if their:
    • Appointment is twelve months or more; and
    • Study program has been approved by the relevant Executive Member.
  • Academic employees are only eligible for examination leave if their study program is approved by their Executive Member.
  • Afternoon Exam Time allocation - morning prior to exam and time required to complete the exam.
  • Evening Exam Time Allocation - the afternoon before the exam.
  • Morning Exam Time Allocation - time required to complete the exam.
  • Examination leave is not granted when an employee is absent on a period of approved paid or unpaid leave.

Further information: Examination leave procedures

Parental leave

  • A leave application, together with the appropriate documentation, is required before the delegated officer can consider an application for parental leave.
  • Parental leave encompasses primary carer leave, partner leave and adoption leave. Each type of leave has a different range of conditions and requirements.
  • Employees and supervisors should use the following link to the Parental leave procedures for further information and, where necessary, seek advice from their HR Client Services representative well in advance of proceeding on leave.

Further information: Parental leave procedures

Community service leave

  • Community service leave encompasses jury service leave and emergency services leave.
  • Jury service leave:
    • Must be supported with an attendance record from the Sherriff's office, which will need to be forwarded with the employee number noted on documentation.
    • The leave application must match the details supplied on the certificate of attendance provided by the Sheriff's Office.
    • Employees are required to pay the University any attendance fees received. Any monies received from the Sheriff's Office relating to meal and travelling expenses can be retained by the employee.
    • If attendance fees were received, you should also attach a copy the University receipt indicating that the money was repaid to the University.
    • If an employee attends jury service during a period of approved leave, they will not receive a re-credit of leave but are entitled to retain all monies received.

  • Emergency services leave:
    • Employees who are members of a recognised emergency services organisation are eligible for up to five days paid leave per calendar year to attend voluntary emergency activities and related training.
    • Additional paid leave may be granted in exceptional circumstances.
    • Must be supported by documentary evidence of the employee's training requirements, attendance during emergency situations, and membership of the relevant emergency services association.

Further information: Community service leave procedures

Military leave

  • An employee who serves on a part-time basis in the Australian Defence Forces Reserves will be granted leave for obligatory training.
  • Employees are required to provided evidence of the purpose and necessity for the leave and complete a leave application prior to proceeding on leave.
  • The leave application should be forwarded to HR Services with a copy of the evidence provided for the purpose and necessity for the leave.
  • When the employee returns to work they must provide a certificate of attendance at the training camp or school to their supervisor, who, after sighting the certificate, must forward it to HR Services.

Further information: Military leave procedures

Employees called as witnesses

  • An employee is regarded as being 'on duty' (ie no application required) and does not lose salary if they are:
    • Subpoenaed, summonsed or called as a witness on behalf of the University; or
    • A witness in proceedings relating to a University industrial matter.
  • In above two cases, the employee will not receive any witness fees for the period they are required as a witness.
  • If the employee is called as a witness in any other circumstances, the employee must access another form as leave, i.e. LWOP, annual leave etc.

Further information: Employees called as witnesses

Leave to contest an election

Where an employee notifies you of their intention to contest an election, contact HR Services for advice concerning the documentation required.

Further information: Leave to contest an election