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Leave and Public Holidays procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 19 June 2016 and incorporates amendments made on 1 November 2016.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Work Arrangements policy.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure provides information and set out processes on:

  1. leave arrangements available to staff
  2. University holidays and Christmas close down period.
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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure documents Deakin's leave and public holiday arrangements but does not apply to casual staff, except where there is an express reference to casual staff entitlements.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Work Arrangements policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(6) Staff members are provided with a range of leave entitlements, including:

  1. recreational leave
  2. sick leave
  3. carer's leave
  4. long service leave
  5. parental leave
  6. personal leave
  7. workers compensation leave and make-up pay
  8. arbitration leave
  9. trade union training leave
  10. leave without pay
  11. special paid leave
  12. domestic and family violence leave.

(7) The provisions for leave, University holidays and annual close down in late December and early January are prescribed in the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2013 (EA) and in individual contracts of employment with additional provisions specified in this procedure.

(8) Entitlements under the EA and this procedure for a part-time staff member will be calculated on a pro-rata basis by reference to the staff member's ordinary hours of work.

(9) Staff members must apply for leave via DeakinPeople, or a Leave Application form, which must be submitted to the staff member's supervisor for approval or endorsement.

(10) Where an application has been made via DeakinPeople and approved by the supervisor, leave credits will be automatically adjusted in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) once the leave has been taken.

(11) For leave which cannot be applied for by a staff member via DeakinPeople (such as birth related leave, leave without pay and other types of special or personal leave) a relevant Leave Application form is completed and approved by the supervisor, this must be forwarded to your HR Adviser in the Human Resources Division for processing.

(12) If a staff member requires any advice or support in applying for any type of leave they should contact their HR Adviser.

(13) All approvals are subject to the provision of appropriate documentation (such as a medical certificate) and verification that the staff member has an entitlement to the claimed leave.

University holidays and Christmas close down period

(14) The University recognises a number of public holidays in accordance with clause 45 of the EA.

(15) The University will also close for five working days in addition to the University holidays which fall during the Christmas and New Year period. All continuing and fixed term staff members will receive five paid University holidays in lieu of working on Labour Day, Queens Birthday and Melbourne Cup Day, which will be taken during the specified University closedown. In addition, professional staff members will receive one additional day's recreational leave.

(16) Where a staff member has not worked on Labour Day, Queens Birthday or Melbourne Cup their recreational leave will be deducted on a pro rata basis to cover the University closedown period.

(17) If a staff member has worked on Labour Day, Queens Birthday or Melbourne Cup Day and their employment ends before 24 December in any year, the staff member will be paid in lieu for the day or days worked.

Recreational leave

(18) A staff member is entitled to 20 working days' recreational leave on full pay for each completed year of service. Further information in relation to recreational leave entitlements are set out in clause 46 of the EA.

(19) If a staff member is granted recreational leave in advance by the Executive Director, Human Resources Division, amounts beyond their entitlement at the date of termination of employment must be repaid to the University by the staff member.

Cashing out excess recreational leave

(20) Staff members are required and encouraged to take their recreational leave entitlements as leave on an annual basis. However, in limited circumstances a staff member may have an excess recreational leave balance.

(21) Where a staff member wishes to cash out excess recreation leave in accordance with clause 46.9 of the EA the staff member should speak with their supervisor in the first instance and if this supported by the supervisor, the staff member should contact their HR Adviser to assist with processing this request.

(22) The minimum amount of days to be cashed out is 5 days.

(23) Payment for the cashed out excess recreation leave will be made at the time the corresponding leave is taken. The payment is superannuable.

Purchased recreational leave

(24) Additional recreation leave (formerly called 48/52) may be purchased in accordance with clause 37 of the EA, with key aspects and additional provisions specified below.

(25) Purchased leave not taken within the specified 12 month period will be refunded in the next available pay period following the cessation of the 12 month period. This payment is not superannuable.

(26) Purchased leave agreements will cease and purchased leave will be paid out where a staff member goes on parental leave during the 12 month period.

Sick leave

(27) A staff member is entitled to 15 working days' sick leave on full pay for each completed year of service. Further information in relation to sick leave entitlements are set out in clause 40 of the EA, with additional provisions specified below.

(28) A year of service for the purpose of clause 40.2 of the EA is taken from the anniversary of the staff member's appointment, and may be adjusted to account for periods of leave that do not count as service (in accordance with clause 43 of the EA).

Break in service

(29) A staff member who ceases employment with the University and is subsequently re-employed by the University after a period of no more than 12 months shall be re-credited with any sick leave accumulated at the time prior to the break in service up to a maximum of 30 days.

Unpaid sick leave

(30) Staff who have exhausted their sick leave entitlement may be granted leave without pay to cover absences due to illness or injury, upon production of appropriate evidence unless clause 27 of the EA (Termination of Employment on the Grounds of ill Health) has been invoked.

Workcover

(31) The absences of a staff member on WorkCover payments are not debited against sick leave credits. Sick leave may conditionally be used by staff members awaiting decisions on WorkCover or TAC claims. Where such claims are accepted, staff members' normal sick leave entitlements are restored.

Carer's leave

(32) The provisions are set out in clause 41 of the EA.

Long service leave

(33) Long service leave entitlements are set out in clause 44 of the EA, with key aspects and additional provisions specified below.

(34) Staff are entitled to 9.1 weeks of paid leave after 7 years of continuous service, plus a further 1.3 weeks for every additional year of service thereafter.

(35) In determining eligibility periods of leave relevant to accrual of long service, leave which counts as service should be considered as specified in clause 43 of the EA.

Taking long service leave

(36) Long service leave is normally taken at the time of accrual or at a later time, which is mutually agreed to by the staff member and University. In some circumstances the leave may be postponed. In exceptional circumstances the Executive Director, Human Resources Division may, at the request of the staff member, grant long service leave before the entitlement has accrued.

Payment of long service leave

(37) Long service leave is paid at the normal salary rate of the staff member, excluding overtime, shift or other penalty rates. The salary is paid in one of the following ways:

  1. on the normal pay days during the period of leave taken
  2. in full in advance, on the pay day immediately preceding the date of commencement of the leave (the staff member must request this in advance).

Employment during long service leave

(38) A staff member is not entitled to undertake any type of paid work for any organisation whilst on long service leave, including casual employment.

Periods of leave relevant to accrual of long service leave

(39) Service recognised from previous employers in accordance with the Recognition of Prior Service procedure, shall count as service for the purpose of determining the staff member's entitlement to long service leave.

(40) Long service leave entitlements do not accrue during the following absences:

  1. any period of service for which payment in lieu of long service leave has been made by a previous employer
  2. any period of service subsequent to the date from which a pension is payable under the provisions of the Superannuation Act 1992 (Cth) other pension schemes as may apply where the staff member retires on the grounds of age or ill health.

Parental leave

Birth related leave

(41) Parental leave entitlements are prescribed in clause 38 of the EA, with key aspects and additional provisions specified below.

(42) Paid birth-related leave entitlements are as specified in clause 38 of the EA. The remaining period of birth-related leave shall be unpaid unless the staff member is required to use or requests to use other accrued leave entitlements.

(43) Additional unpaid leave may be negotiated if the staff member's pregnancy results in a multiple birth, or a child with a severe disability or illness.

(44) Where a staff member has primary responsibility for a child, periods of parental leave, including birth-related leave, unpaid and paid partner leave and adoption-related leave, including extensions of leave must be taken in a single and continuous period.

Primary carer leave

(45) A staff member with at least 12 months service will be entitled to 8 weeks of paid primary carer leave and 44 weeks unpaid primary carer leave, if the staff member will have primary care of the child for the duration of the leave and the staff member's partner (if applicable) is not the primary carer for the child for the duration of the leave.

(46) Primary carer leave must commence no earlier than the date of birth or placement of the child for adoptions and no later than 3 months after the date or birth or placement.

(47) To be eligible for primary carer leave a staff member must advise their supervisor of their intention to take this leave at least four weeks prior to the date upon which he or she proposes to commence leave (using the Application for Parental Leave form).

(48) Where a staff member applies for primary carer leave they will need to produce a birth or placement certificate (whichever is applicable) and a statutory declaration from the staff member providing that the staff member will be the only primary care giver for the period of the leave.

(49) Upon provision of the birth or placement certificate and the statutory declaration by the staff member to the supervisor, the supervisor will provide this and the Application for Parental Leave form to their HR Adviser for approval. Upon receipt of these documents from the supervisor, HRD will send a confirmation of parental leave dates to the staff member.

Other leave and public holidays during birth-related and primary carer leave

(50) A staff member must take any period of paid birth-related leave before taking any other form of paid leave entitlement.

(51) A staff member on birth-related or primary carer leave may use accrued recreation leave and long service leave credits in one block to cover any of the period of unpaid birth-related or primary carer leave.

(52) A staff member on any period of unpaid birth-related leave who contracts an illness resulting from pregnancy or childbirth shall, upon the submission of a medical certificate or statutory declaration, be entitled to use any sick leave credits and be paid for the period of such illness.

(53) Annual leave, long service leave and sick leave shall continue to accrue during any period of paid or unpaid birth-related or primary carer leave for a period of up to 26 weeks. For any period of birth-related or primary carer leave, paid or unpaid, in excess of 26 weeks, service will not be broken but no leave entitlements will be accrued, unless other forms of paid leave are taken during this period.

(54) Staff on paid birth-related or primary carer leave shall have their period of paid leave extended by any University-observed public holidays that fall during this period. Where a staff member has worked Labour Day, Queen's Birthday and/or Melbourne Cup Day in the preceding year, additional recreation leave at the rate of 1.6 days for each day will be credited to their recreation leave balances at the start of the following year.

Notice and timing of birth related leave

(55) The initial period of birth-related leave must commence no earlier than 20 weeks before the expected date of delivery and no later than the actual date of delivery.

(56) Where the staff member's date of delivery occurs earlier than the planned commencement date of birth-related leave, birth-related leave shall automatically commence on the date of delivery of the staff member's child.

(57) To be eligible for birth-related leave a staff member must complete an Application for Parental Leave form and submit this to her supervisor at least four weeks prior to the date upon which she proposes to commence leave. In the form the staff member shall advise her expected date of delivery, the date upon which she proposes to commence birth-related leave, the period of leave to be taken, whether she wants to take leave at half pay and details of any other leave which she proposes to take, including accrued annual leave or long service leave, during the period of birth-related leave.

(58) The supervisor must provide this Application form to their HR Adviser for approval. Upon receipt of the application form, HRD will send a confirmation of parental leave dates to the staff member.

(59) The Vice-Chancellor or nominee may waive the requirement for this notice to be provided four weeks in advance of taking birth-related leave in special circumstances.

(60) The Vice-Chancellor or nominee may direct a staff member to commence birth-related leave at any time within six weeks before the expected date of delivery, provided that:

  1. written notice of such a direction of at least fourteen working days shall be given to the staff member; and
  2. the staff member shall be entitled to remain on duty upon the submission of a certificate from a registered medical practitioner stating that she is fit to work.

(61) A staff member shall be entitled to extend the period of birth-related leave provided that she gives written notice of four weeks to her manager and the total period of leave is not in excess of the maximum aggregate period of 52 weeks.

(62) A request to reduce the period of birth-related leave originally requested by the staff member shall be subject to approval by the head of the organisational area and will be subject to operational requirements, including backfill arrangements.

Return to work following birth related leave

(63) A staff member shall confirm her intention to return to work by providing written notice to her supervisor not less than four weeks prior to the expiration of the period of birth-related leave or of the period of leave granted in accordance with this procedure.

(64) A staff member who returns to work following birth-related leave shall be entitled to a period of return to work leave as follows:

  1. where the staff member has completed less than two years but more than 12 months service at the time she commences birth-related leave she will be entitled to two weeks paid return to work leave
  2. where the staff member has completed two or more years of service at the time she commences birth-related leave she will be entitled to four weeks paid return to work leave.

(65) Return to work leave is an additional benefit available to staff who return to the University. The two or four weeks can be taken in any way as agreed with the local area. This may include a graduated return to work arrangement, agreed study leave, conference attendance or some other staff development initiative identified in the staff member's Performance Planning and Review documentation provided that such benefits do not incur fringe benefits tax for the University.

(66) For an academic staff member returning from birth-related leave, the staff member's supervisor should also consider assigning a mentor to the staff member, to provide advice and guidance to assist the staff member to re-establish their academic activity. (See the Professional Development (Academic Staff) procedure for further information).

(67) Return to work leave is calculated on the basis of the time fraction the staff member was working prior to going on birth-related leave.

(68) Return to work leave must be arranged by the staff member and her manager and must be taken within six months from the expiration of the staff member's birth-related leave.

(69) Subject to the operational requirements of the University, local areas may also agree to other flexible return to work arrangements which do not form part of the return to work leave.

(70) If a staff member who has received 22 weeks paid birth-related leave does not return to work there is no requirement for the staff member to repay any amount of the paid birth-related leave to the University.

Partner leave

(71) Entitlements to paid partner leave are prescribed in clause 38 of the EA, with key aspects and additional provisions specified below.

(72) A staff member whose partner has given birth to a child (or adopted a child) shall be entitled to paid leave for 10 working days within a period of three months after the date of birth of the child or the adoption of the child.

(73) In addition to paid partner leave, a staff member with at least 12 months continuous service, will also be entitled to a further unbroken period of 50 weeks unpaid leave where he or she is the primary care-giver of the child. The entitlement to the additional 50 weeks of unpaid leave shall be reduced by any period of birth-related or adoption leave taken by the staff member's partner if the partner is employed by the University. It shall not be taken at the same time as the birth-related leave of the staff member's partner, except during the three weeks following the birth of the child.

(74) Additional unpaid partner leave may be negotiated, where the partner is not the primary carer, if the pregnancy in which the staff member is taking partner leave results in multiple births or a child with a severe disability or illness.

(75) A staff member who has taken birth-related, or primary carer or adoption leave shall not be eligible for partner leave in respect of the same child.

General conditions applying to parental leave

(76) A staff member employed on a fixed-term contract which expires during a period of paid birth-related, or primary carer, adoption or partner leave shall not be eligible for further leave after the date of expiry of the contract, unless she or he is re-employed on a continuing basis or on a further fixed-term contract. The provision of such leave shall not be grounds for the termination of a contract or for a refusal by the University to offer re-employment.

Adoption leave

(77) The provisions are prescribed in clause 38 of the EA.

Personal leave

(78) Entitlements to personal leave are prescribed in clause 39 of the EA, with key aspects and additional provisions specified below.

Blood donor leave

(79) Leave should be as close as possible to the beginning or end of the staff member's normal working hours and should be on a day which best supports the operational requirements of the staff member's work area.

(80) Notice of intended absence must be given by the staff member to his or her supervisor and proof of attendance is required.

Australian Defence Reserve Forces (ADRF) leave

(81) For all periods of ADRF Reserve service, which are not specified in the EA, a staff member may elect to apply for:

  1. recreational leave
  2. long service leave
  3. leave without pay
  4. a combination of the above to cover the required period of Defence service.

(82) ADRF leave is based on a calendar year and is in addition to any other accrued leave. ADRF leave is not cumulative and cannot be carried over to the following year.

(83) The nominated ADRF Unit point of contact may be contacted by the staff member's supervisor to discuss possible alternative dates when the absence of a staff member may cause significant difficulties to meet operational requirements.

(84) Eligible staff members should, at the start of each working year, inform their Head of Organisation Area of their anticipated ADF Reserve service commitment for the next 6-12 months, even when specific dates are unknown. Once specific dates are available, staff should notify their Head of Organisational Area at the earliest practicable opportunity.

Special paid leave

(85) The Vice-Chancellor or nominee may grant a staff member such other paid leave as is considered warranted by the Vice-Chancellor or nominee.

(86) Where a staff member wishes to apply for special paid leave he or she must put this in writing to the Executive Director, Human Resources Division stating the reasons he or she is seeking special leave. Special paid leave will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

(87) Where the Executive Director, Human Resources Division considers that special paid leave is warranted, the Executive Director, Human Resources Division will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or nominee for approval.

(88) The Vice-Chancellor or nominee will advise the Executive Director, Human Resources Division and the staff member of their decision.

Domestic or family violence leave

(89) The University recognizes that some of its staff may sometimes experience situations of violence or abuse in their personal life that may affect their attendance or performance at work and the University is committed to providing support for such staff.

(90) A staff member who is a victim of domestic or family violence is entitled to special paid leave in accordance with this procedure and clause 39.9 and 39.10 of the EA. Further information in relation to the support available to staff can be found in the Domestic and Family Violence (Staff Support) procedure.

Workers compensation leave and make-up pay

(91) Entitlements to workers compensation leave and make-up pay are prescribed in clause 48 of the EA with additional provisions specified below.

(92) A staff member may use sick leave credits to cover any absence relating to the injury, providing this sick leave is not used concurrently with leave under this clause.

(93) For further information in relation to leave and make-up pay a staff member or a manager should contact a HR Consultant in the Health, Wellbeing and Safety group in HRD.

Arbitration leave

(94) Entitlements to arbitration leave are prescribed in clause 42 of the EA with additional provisions specified below.

(95) Where a staff member is requesting such leave, this must be submitted in writing to their relevant Head of Organisational Area for approval.

(96) If approved, the relevant Head of Organisational Area should forward this to their HR Adviser for entering into the HRMS.

Trade union training leave

(97) Entitlements to trade union training leave are prescribed in clause 47 of the EA with additional provisions specified below.

(98) A staff member must submit a request for leave to attend trade union courses or seminars in writing to their relevant Head of Organisational Area for approval.

(99) If approved, the relevant Head of Organisational Area should forward this to their HR Adviser for entering into the HRMS.

Leave without pay

Entitlement

(100) Leave without pay is a period of approved unpaid leave from the University.

(101) Leave without pay may only be approved by a member of the Executive or an Executive Director. It will only be approved if the normal operations of the area will not be disrupted by the leave being granted and where the staff member has no other paid leave credits.

(102) Only in exceptional circumstances, and with the prior approval of the Executive Director, Human Resources Division, will a staff member be allowed to take leave without pay while they have other paid leave credits available.

(103) Leave without pay will not normally be granted for a period in excess of two years. Each case will be considered on its merits and periods of leave in excess of two years may be granted at the discretion of the Executive Director, Human Resources Division in consultation with the relevant Head of the Organisational Area.

(104) A staff member is not entitled to undertake any type of paid work for the University whilst on leave without pay, including casual employment.

Salary Increments while on leave without pay

(105) Where leave without pay is granted to a staff member for a period in excess of six months, the continuation of salary increments is subject to approval by the Executive Director, Human Resources Division.

(106) Consideration for such approval will take into account the purpose for which the leave is to be used, and whether the leave furthers professional objectives and is in the interests of the University. If the leave is for a purpose other than professional, and is in excess of six months, increments will not normally be granted during that period.

(107) Increments will be resumed at the next increment date occurring after the expiry of the leave period.

Leave without pay and Academic Study Leave

(108) For academic staff, a period of leave without pay or secondment will not normally be recognised for the purposes of calculating eligibility for the Academic Study Program (ASP). A period of leave without pay may be recognised for the purposes of ASP on the basis of national or international advantage to the University; however accrual would, at most, be at half the normal rate. Accrual of ASP entitlements is not permitted in cases where a staff member on leave without pay is not formally employed but voluntarily undertakes duties in teaching and research.

(109) Attendance at conferences is different to ASP and is not considered a form of leave. Further information in relation to conference attendance can be found in the Research Conference Attendance (Academic Staff) procedure.

Superannuation while on leave without pay

(110) Prior to going on leave without pay, a staff member should contact their HR Adviser to ascertain the conditions under which superannuation contributions are maintained during their period of leave without pay.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(111) There are no definitions arising under this Procedure.