Content

Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To outline the categories of leave and the associated entitlements and absence provisions available to Employees.

2 Scope

This policy and procedure applies to eligible Employees in accordance with the conditions and entitlements outlined in Schedule 1: Categories of Leave.

3 Policy Statement

The University will seek to ensure that Employees have a clear understanding of their employment conditions relating to leave of absence.

4 Procedures

4.1 Categories of leave

The following categories of leave are available at the University:

  • Annual
  • Personal
  • Carer's
  • Parental
  • Compassionate
  • Long Service
  • Jury Service and Court Attendance
  • Major Sporting Competitions
  • Defence Forces
  • Workplace Relations Training
  • Attendance at Emergencies
  • Election
  • In Lieu of Overtime
  • Leave without pay
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Special.

The matrix in Schedule 1 outlines the entitlements and conditions which apply to each category of leave.

4.2 End of year arrangements

During closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive,

the University will not require an Employee to utilise annual leave entitlements during this closure period.

4.3 Gazetted show holidays

An Employee will not normally be scheduled to attend work on another campus on the gazetted show holiday for their base campus and suitable arrangements should be made as early as possible to permit this to occur.

However in instances where this is unavoidably required due to the operational and service provision requirements of the particular work area, the following arrangements will apply:

  • For professional Employees, the Employee will be paid at 250% of the ordinary rate in accordance with Clause 42.1.1(e) of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010 to 2013.
  • For academic Employees, the supervisor and Employee must identify an alternative leave day at a mutually agreed time, normally within the following three month period. For example, if a USQ Springfield Employee is scheduled to work at the Toowoomba Campus on the Ipswich gazetted show holiday, the Employee and their supervisor must mutually agree on a suitable substitute day of leave. Employees are not required to utilise annual leave entitlements for this substitute day.

4.4 How to apply for leave

Employee leave of absences must be approved by the appropriate delegate to achieve minimum disruption to the operations of the University. Employees must apply for leave using the Employee Self Services (ESS) system for categories available online and the Absence Request Form (DOC 98kb) for categories not available online.

All applications for leave require the approval of the supervisor* or other relevant delegate as outlined in the matrix in Schedule 1.

*For the purposes of this policy, a supervisor is defined as any Employee who has direct reports in the approved organisational structure of the Faculty/Section as recorded in the University's Human Resource Management System (HRMS).

All paper-based completed Absence Request forms must be forwarded to Human Resources for processing.

4.5 Absence from duty

Where an Employee is absent without prior notice and approval from the University, the Employee must notify their supervisor as soon as is practicable. The Employee will be required to advise the supervisor of the nature and estimated length of the absence.

Where an Employee's absence extends past the length of absence advised to the University, the Employee will notify the supervisor of any changes.

Failure by an Employee to advise the University of the reason for any absence in excess of 10 sequential working days will be considered to be abandonment of employment, and the Employee will thereby be deemed to have terminated the Employee's employment. Refer to the Termination of Employment Policy and Procedure.

4.6 Leave records

Leave records will be maintained on the Human Resources Management System by Human Resources. Employee leave records will be retained in accordance with the General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records issued by Queensland State Archives.

5 Schedules

5.1 Schedule 1: Categories of leave

Category

Eligible Employees

Entitlement

Conditions

Authorising Officer

Minimum Notice

Application Process

1 Annual

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Full-time Employees: Four weeks (20 days per year), to a maximum of 40 days.

Fractional professional Employees: a proportion of 20 days or 144 hours, based on hours worked.

(eg 144 hrs x .5 fraction = 72 hours annual leave per year)

Fractional academic Employees: a proportion of 20 days or 150 hours, based on hours worked.

(eg 150 hrs x .5 fraction = 75 hours annual leave per year)

Academic and Professional Employees: an annual leave loading of 17.5% of salary for the period of leave accrued during the year.

Employees must apply for annual leave utilising the appropriate system.

Annual leave excludes any public holiday occurring during the period of leave.

Annual leave loading will be paid once in December each year.

Annualised hours professional Employees are not required to submit applications for annual leave because they are paid their leave entitlement in each fortnightly salary.

Fixed term Employees will take all annual leave during the term of the appointment. If a fixed term Employee has been unable to take all annual leave accrued during an appointment, the University will pay the cash equivalent of the pro-rata leave due upon expiry of the contract.

Employees receiving a higher duties allowance will be entitled to annual leave paid at the higher level at the time of taking the leave.

An Employee who becomes ill during a period of annual leave may claim personal leave instead of annual leave for the period of the illness that is more than three days. An Employee may claim personal leave to the extent of personal leave accrued, and in order to substitute personal leave for annual leave must provide a certificate from a qualified medical practitioner for the period of the illness if that period is for more than three days. Annual leave may either then be re-credited by the same period (less the three days) or extended by the same period by mutual agreement with the supervisor.

For example, an Employee on annual leave becomes ill for a period of 10 working days during the period of annual leave. Upon presentation of a medical certificate, the Employee will be either re-credited for a period of seven working days (ie the 10 days of illness less the initial three day period), or have their annual leave extended by a period of seven working days by mutual agreement with the supervisor.

An Employee must not accumulate more than 40 days annual leave. Where an Employee has accumulated an entitlement of more than 30 days annual leave, the University will advise the Employee and the supervisor to initiate discussions regarding the leave accumulation and their intention to take a period of leave. Where an Employee has accumulated 40 days annual leave, the University may direct the Employee in writing to take up to 20 days accumulated annual leave; or the Employee may, with the University's agreement, elect to take a money equivalent of the annual leave accumulated over 20 days. Where an Employee elects to take a money equivalent, the Employee must also submit a supporting absence request to take a period of annual leave in addition to the money equivalent of at least 10 days.

Supervisors have an obligation to ensure Employees have the capacity to take at least 10 days annual leave each year.

Employees may be paid annual leave in advance in exceptional circumstances including, but not limited to, travel to international or remote locations or economic hardship. These requests must be in writing to the supervisor.

Academic Employees

Academic Employees are required to submit an annual leave plan and a supporting absence request for approval following individual workload discussions. The annual leave plan is to be submitted within two weeks of individual workload discussions occurring. The Employee must submit an absence request two weeks prior to the commencement of leave. Supervisors must ensure that an annual leave plan is received in the Faculty within two weeks of individual workload discussions and that an absence request is submitted through ESS by an Employee prior to the commencement of the leave.

All annual leave must be taken in accordance with the approved leave plan and absence request, however the Employee may seek approval from their supervisor to vary the annual leave plan and absence request.

Supervisor

Notice by mutual agreement with the Supervisor prior to taking leave.

Absence Requests: Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

Academic Employees Annual Leave Plan: Paper-based

2 Personal

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Full-Time Employees: 10 days on full pay per year

Fractional Employees: Proportion of 10 days based on hours worked.

Personal leave can be utilised in the following circumstances:

  • absence through personal illness or injury, or
  • subject to the Employee being primarily responsible for the care and support for members of their immediate family or members of their household, when they are ill, injured, require ongoing care and assistance due to disability, frailty, chronic illness or pain or there is an unexpected emergency affecting their immediate family (after an employee has utilised their three days carer's leave entitlement per calendar year - see 2b).

Applications for personal leave of longer than three days must be accompanied by a medical certificate or statutory declaration stating the illness of the person concerned.

Personal leave will be cumulative in advance during the first year of service.

For appointments of less than one year, the leave in proportion to the amount of personal leave of a full-time Employee will be available in advance.

Overtime taken as time off in lieu to care for members of immediate family or household, during ordinary hours, will be taken at the ordinary rate, that is an hour for each hour worked. Alternatively, an Employee may elect, with the consent of the University, to work 'make-up time', under which the Employee takes time off during ordinary hours and works those hours at a later time during the spread of ordinary hours.

Personal leave without pay may be taken when:

  • leave relates to an absence caused by ill-health and personal leave entitlements have been exhausted, and
  • the Employee wishes to preserve annual leave and long service leave credits.

When personal leave without pay is granted the conditions outlined in the USQ Enterprise Agreement apply.

Supervisor

Verbal notice on the day illness commences. An online absence request is to be submitted as soon as possible, or immediately following return to work.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

A hard copy medical certificate for leave in excess of three days must be sighted by the supervisor prior to approving the leave and forwarded to Human Resources for record keeping.

2a
Carer's

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Employees are entitled to three days leave per calendar year (non cumulative) for absences to provide care and support for members of their immediate family or members of their household, when they are ill, injured, require ongoing care and assistance due to disability, frailty, chronic illness or pain or there is an unexpected emergency affecting their immediate family.

Where an Employee has utilised their three days carers leave entitlement per calendar year, Employees may use any accrued personal leave for absences.

Employees may elect to use accrued annual leave, or take time off in lieu of overtime, or take leave without pay, with the consent of the University.

Supervisor

As soon as practicable prior to the absence, or verbal notice on the day the illness commences.

Using the paper-based Leave of Absence form.

3a Parental - Maternity

An Employee with 12 months continuous service as at the medically certified expected date of birth.

Any Employee who has complied with the notice and evidence requirements (regardless of their length of service) is entitled to be transferred to a safe job because of illness, or risks arising out of the pregnancy or hazards connected with the Employee's position.

A total absence of 52 weeks. This may include a maximum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave, six weeks paid primary care-giver's leave and an additional six weeks paid leave, plus any accrued annual and long service leave.

An Employee who does not have 12 months continuous service is entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks leave without pay, and any accrued annual leave may be taken during the period of absence.

For the period of paid leave, an Employee will be paid salary at the rate calculated on the Employee's average service fraction over the preceding 12 month period prior to the commencement of paid leave.

A casual Employee with 12 months service is entitled to unpaid leave.

A medical certificate is required indicating expected date of birth with a statutory declaration stating the period of any parental leave sought by the Employee's partner if also an Employee of the University.

Leave may begin up to 20 weeks prior to the expected date of birth, or earlier where certified by a medical practitioner. Otherwise paid Maternity Leave will commence from the date of birth of the child, and will be continuous for the 14 week period.

Where an Employee is on paid maternity leave, personal leave will not be granted for normal pregnancy but may be granted by the Executive Director, HR after medical advice has been considered in respect of abnormal conditions associated with the pregnancy.

Where, in the opinion of a registered medical practitioner, illness or risks arising from pregnancy or hazards connected with the work assigned to the Employee, make it inadvisable for the Employee to continue in their present work, the Employee will, if the University deems it practical, be transferred to a safe job until the beginning of maternity leave. If the transfer to a safe job is not practical, the Employee may, or the University may require the Employee to, take leave for such period as is certified necessary by a registered medical practitioner.

Where a safe job is not able to be located, paid leave will be granted to Employees who are entitled to paid or unpaid parental leave, and who have complied with notice and evidence requirements. Employees not entitled to paid or unpaid parental leave will be entitled to unpaid leave in these same circumstances.

Once leave has begun the Employee is required to remain absent for at least six weeks from date of birth.

Where an Employee suffers illness related to pregnancy, for as long as a doctor certifies it to be necessary, or for the period granted by the Vice-Chancellor in relation to special leave, the Employee is entitled to apply for the following types of leave:

  • paid personal leave, either instead of, or as well as, special maternity leave, and/or
  • unpaid leave (“special maternity leave”), and/or
  • paid special leave.

Where a pregnancy terminates in other than the birth of a living child or where the child dies during the period of paid maternity leave, the Employee shall continue to be entitled to apply for:

  • paid special leave, and
  • resume work at a time mutually agreed between the University and the Employee which will not exceed five weeks from the date of notice in writing by the Employee to the University that he/she desires to resume work.

In considering applications for paid special leave, the Vice-Chancellor will take into account the period of maternity leave entitlement.

An Employee is entitled to six weeks paid primary care-giver's leave to be taken immediately following maternity leave taken in relation to the child where they are the primary care-giver.

An Employee who is entitled to access primary caregiver's leave for a child may access a total of a further six weeks of paid leave for the same child. This may be taken at a time agreed with the Employee's supervisor, up to the child's second birthday.

The unpaid leave cannot extend beyond the child's first birthday, except as provided for in relation to the additional six weeks paid leave.

Where the Employee's partner is also a USQ Employee, the aggregate leave must not exceed 52 weeks. Both parents can take up to eight weeks of their unpaid leave at the same time, starting immediately after the birth or, by agreement with the relevant delegate, up to six weeks after the birth. The concurrent leave may be taken in separate periods, but each period must not be less than two weeks, unless agreed by the delegate.

An Employee may return to work after Parental Leave on either a full-time or fractional basis for a maximum period of two years from the return to work date by mutual agreement with the Category 4 Delegate or above (refer to 3d Parental - General for more information).

There is an expectation that an Employee who accesses paid components of parental leave will return to the workplace for at least three months following the period of parental leave. The University may require any monies to be refunded should an Employee resign following the period of parental leave.

Category 4 Delegate or above

10 weeks written notice to the Supervisor stating expected date of birth.

Absence Request Form to be submitted four weeks prior to start of leave indicating the period of leave to be taken.

If both parents are USQ Employees and if concurrent unpaid leave is to be taken in a second or subsequent period, four weeks notice is to be provided.

Written notice of intention to return to work must be given at least four weeks prior to end of parental leave.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

3b Parental - Partner (Paternity)

An Employee who is a father of or accepts responsibility for the care of an expected or newborn child.

A total absence of 52 weeks. This may include a maximum of two weeks paid partner leave and any accrued annual and long service leave.

The two weeks paid leave can be taken as separate periods of at least a day.

An Employee who does not have 12 months continuous service is entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks leave without pay, and any accrued annual leave taken during the period of absence.

A medical certificate is required which names the Employee's partner, states the partner is pregnant and indicates the expected date of birth, with details of any leave approved for the partner where the partner is also an Employee of the University.

The paid leave must commence between one week prior to the expected date of birth and five weeks after birth. The unpaid leave cannot extend beyond the child's first birthday.

Where the Employee's partner is also a USQ employee, the aggregate leave must not exceed 52 weeks. Both parents are entitled to take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave at the same time, commencing immediately after the birth or, by agreement with their employer, up to six weeks after the birth. The concurrent leave may be taken in separate periods, but each period must not be less than two weeks, unless agreed by the delegate.

An Employee is also entitled to six weeks paid primary care-giver's leave to be taken immediately following partner leave in relation to the child where they are the primary care-giver, and where both the child's mother and the partner are USQ Employees, and where the child's mother has not taken the six weeks primary care-giver's leave.

An Employee who is entitled to access primary caregiver's leave for a child may access a total of a further six weeks of paid leave for the same child, where both the child's mother and the partner are USQ Employees, and where the child's mother has not taken the further six weeks paid leave. This may be taken at a time agreed with the Employee's supervisor, up to the child's second birthday.

There is an expectation that an Employee who accesses paid components of parental leave will return to the workplace for at least three months following the period of parental leave. The University may require any monies to be refunded should an Employee resign following the period of parental leave.

Category 4 Delegate or above

10 weeks written notice to the Supervisor stating expected date of birth where the Employee intends to access parental leave in excess of the two weeks paid partner leave.

Absence Request Form to be submitted four weeks prior to start of leave indicating the period of leave to be taken.

If both parents are USQ employees and if concurrent unpaid leave is to be taken in a second or subsequent period, four weeks notice is to be provided. Written notice of intention to return to work must be given at least four weeks prior to end of parental leave where the Employee has taken parental leave in excess of the two weeks paid partner leave.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

3c Parental - Adoption

An Employee with 12 months continuous service who assumes the main role of carer for an adopted child under the age of five.

52 weeks leave of which 14 weeks unbroken leave are paid at normal salary.

The 14 weeks paid leave will be taken at the time of placement of the child.

Statement must be provided from Adoption Agency or other appropriate body stating date of placement of child and that the Employee is to have custody of the child, and a statutory declaration stating the period of any adoption leave sought by the Employee's partner, and the Employee is seeking the leave to be the child's primary caregiver.

An Employee is entitled to six weeks paid primary care-giver's leave to be taken immediately following adoption leave taken in relation to the child where they are the primary care-giver.

An Employee who is entitled to access primary caregiver's leave for a child may access a total of a further six weeks of paid leave for the same child. This may be taken at a time agreed with the Employee's supervisor, up to the second anniversary of the date of placement, or the child's fifth birthday, whichever is the sooner.

There is an expectation that an Employee who accesses paid components of parental leave will return to the workplace for at least three months following the period of parental leave. The University may require any monies to be refunded should an Employee resign following the period of parental leave.

Category 4 Delegate or above

Written notice of any approval to adopt a child normally at least 10 weeks before the expected date of placement of the child.

Absence Request Form indicating start and end dates, as soon as practicable after notification of the expected placement date but, in any case, at least 14 days before starting the leave.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

3d Parental -General

As indicated in 3a-3c

As indicated in 3a-3c

An Employee on approved parental leave may take annual leave or long service leave in lieu of unpaid elements of parental leave.

An Employee returning to work after parental leave is entitled to be employed in:

  • the position, salary and classification level held by the Employee immediately before starting parental leave
  • if the Employee worked on a fractional basis because of the pregnancy before starting maternity leave - the position held by the Employee immediately before starting fractional employment
  • if the Employee was transferred to a safe job before starting maternity leave - the position held by the Employee immediately before the transfer.

Where significant changes to the role or duties of the position occur during the Employee's absence on parental leave, the Employee will be consulted prior to the implementation of such changes.

A replacement Employee will only be appointed on a temporary or seconded basis for the period of parental leave.

An Employee returning to work after parental leave may return on either a full-time or fractional basis, subject to the operational needs of the workplace and the mutual agreement of the delegated officer and the Employee:

  • Where the Employee returns on a fractional basis, salary and entitlements will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Any period of fractional employment will initially be approved for a maximum period of two years from the return to work date.
  • Within sixweeks prior to the expiry of the fractional employment agreement the arrangement will be reviewed taking into account the organisational needs of the University and the family responsibilities of the Employee. At this time the fractional arrangement agreement may be:
    • confirmed on a continuing basis
    • extended (subject to further reviews to be conducted at least annually)
    • ceased.

Such determination is to be made at the University's discretion, and requests may be refused based on an assessment of reasonable business grounds.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

3e Parental Leave - Paid Parental Leave Government Scheme

Employees must meet the eligibility test provided by the Family Assistance Office. USQ does not determine eligibility.

Eligible employees will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage for a maximum period of 18 weeks. This pay is taxable. The start date cannot be before the child's birth or adoption.

Employees entitled to paid parental leave from USQ may take their Government Scheme Paid Parental Leave concurrently with this or other leave entitlements, or may choose to take it after exhausting all other parental and annual leave entitlements within the 52 week period.

It is the Employee's responsibility to apply for the Paid Parental Leave Government Scheme directly with the Family Assistance Office.

The Employee must notify the University of the length of the Government Scheme paid parental leave, in conjunction with the application for USQ parental leave in accordance with the provisions of 3a, 3b, 3c and/or 3d above.

The Government Scheme paid parental leave can be taken any time within the first year after birth or adoption.

Employees who are transferring their Paid Parental Leave Government Scheme to their partner (dependant on meeting eligibility as per the Family Assistance Office eligibility test) will need to advise the University of this arrangement when providing the initial 10 weeks written notice to their supervisor. The Employee needs to be aware that only the primary caregiver is eligible to receive the government funded payment.

If an Employee returns to work before they have received their 18 weeks of Paid Parental Leave Government Scheme, the employee must advise the Family Assistance Office and any payments in relation to the government funded paid parental leave will cease.

Where an Employee is seeking parental leave under 3b and is eligible to receive payment under the government funded paid parental leave, they must advise the University via the normal application process.

Category 4 Delegate or above

10 weeks written notice to the Supervisor stating expected date of birth or date of placement.

Absence Request Form to be submitted four weeks prior to start of leave indicating the period of leave to be taken.

Written notice of intention to return to work must be given at least four weeks prior to end of parental leave.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

3f Parental Leave - Dad and Partner Pay Government Scheme

Employees must meet the eligibility test provided by the Department of Human Services. USQ does not determine eligibility

Eligible employees may receive up to two weeks pay at the National Minimum Wage whilst on unpaid leave from work or not working.

It is the Employee's responsibility to apply for Dad and Partner Pay directly with the Department of Human Services.

Receiving Dad and Partner Pay does not affect USQ paid Partner Leave entitlements however Employees are not able to receive both payments at once. To be eligible to receive Dad and Partner Pay Employees must be on unpaid leave and as such need to apply for leave without pay from USQ in order to be eligible.

Both parents can take up to eight weeks of their unpaid leave at the same time, starting immediately after the birth or, by agreement with the relevant delegate, up to six weeks after the birth. The concurrent leave may be taken in separate periods, but each period must not be less than two weeks, unless agreed by the delegate.

Category 4 Delegate or above

10 weeks written notice to the Supervisor stating expected date of birth where the Employee intends to access parental leave in excess of the two weeks paid partner leave.

Absence Request Form to be submitted four weeks prior to start of leave indicating the period of leave to be taken.

If concurrent unpaid leave is to be taken in a second or subsequent period, four weeks notice is to be providedWritten notice of intention to return to work must be given at least four weeks prior to end of parental leave where the Employee has taken parental leave in excess of the two weeks paid partner leave.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

4 Compassionate

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Up to three days per occasion on full pay upon the death of a close relative or where an Employee's immediate family contracts or develops a personal illness that poses a serious threat to their life, or sustains a personal injury that poses a serious threat to their life.

Close relatives for this purpose are spouse/partner, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter, son, stepdaughter, stepson, stepfather, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrother, halfsister, halfbrother, grandparent, granddaughter, grandson, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, any other person approved by the Vice-Chancellor or delegated officer.

Where an Employee requires additional compassionate leave to fulfil cultural requirements or to travel interstate or overseas, paid special leave may be granted upon application to the Vice-Chancellor.

Supervisor

Not applicable.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

5 Long Service

Employees with 10 years continuous service.

13 weeks on full pay after 10 years continuous service and 1.3 weeks per year thereafter.

A full time Employee may, subject to the operational requirements of the University, apply to take extended long service leave on half pay (instead of a shorter period on full pay).

Entitlement

A full-time Employee will be entitled to long service leave after completing 10 years of continuous paid service. Long service leave will accrue at the rate of 6.5 days for each year of continuous service and on a pro rata basis for an incomplete year.

For convenience, long service leave is calculated on an hourly basis.

Casual and fractional Employees are entitled to long service leave on a proportional basis.

Continuity of Service

During a period of employment, continuity of service is not broken through absence from work (including illness or injury) on paid or unpaid leave approved by the University.

When an Employee is absent on approved unpaid leave, the first 10 days is counted as service for the purpose of calculating the Employee's long service leave entitlement. That is, the 10 year qualification period is extended by the length of unpaid leave in excess of 10 days.

Where fixed term Employees have a break between contracts, continuity of service is not broken when the break is not more than three months. In such cases the first 10 days is counted as service for the purpose of calculating an Employee's long service leave entitlement.

Casual Employees

Casual Employees may count actual periods of continuous service accrued after 23 June 1990 towards long service leave. Continuity of service is not deemed to have been broken if the period between appointments does not exceed 90 days.

Recognition of Prior Service

Refer to Recognition of Prior Service Policy and Procedure for details.

Minimum Period of Leave

An Employee may, on written request, take the leave wholly or in part, with a minimum of two weeks being taken. However, one week may be taken in exceptional circumstances.

Application for Leave

Any Employee who wishes to be granted long service leave must lodge a completed leave application with the University at least six months prior to the date the leave is to begin. The application must state the amount of leave required and the dates from which the leave is to commence and end.

An Employee will be granted long service leave at the time of their choosing provided they have given six months notice, in writing. However, where there is mutual agreement between the Employee and the delegated officer, notice of leave may be waived.

Deferment of Leave

The University may defer any period of approved long service leave in special circumstances or emergencies, in which case the University must:

  • give details for the circumstances to the Employee, and
  • reimburse the Employee for any expenses reasonably incurred as a result of the deferral.

The period of deferral will not exceed three months unless mutually agreed between the University and the Employee.

Illness while on Long Service Leave

An Employee who becomes ill during a period of long service leave may claim personal leave instead of long service leave for the period of the illness that is more than three days. A medical certificate must be submitted covering the nature and period of illness. Long service leave may then be extended by the same period.

Maximum Accrual

Where an Employee has accumulated a long service leave entitlement in excess of 18 weeks, the University may give the Employee written notice to take a minimum of five weeks of such leave, at a time convenient to the needs of the University within the following 12 month period, provided that:

  • The Vice-Chancellor (or delegated officer) will give the Employee at least six months written notice of the date on which the leave must commence.
  • The Employee will not be required to take long service leave within 24 months of the intended date of retirement of the Employee.

Where an Employee has accumulated a long service leave entitlement in excess of 18 weeks, the Employee may elect to take a money equivalent of a minimum of five weeks entitlement for the leave accrued in excess of 13 weeks.

An Employee with a maximum entitlement, who elects to take the money equivalent of long service leave as per the above, will receive superannuation contributions on the amount paid.

Independent financial and taxation advice is advised prior to making a request for long service leave cash-in payment.

In any case where an Employee has taken leave pursuant to this subclause, the delegated officer will not require any Employee to take a further period of long service leave for a period of two years after the end of that period of leave.


Termination of Employment

An Employee who is eligible to long service leave will be entitled to payment in lieu of long service leave on resignation, retirement or in the event of death, to the Employee's estate. The University treats any payments in lieu of notice as ordinary time earnings. However, pursuant of Superannuation Guarantee Ruling SGR 2009/2 unused long service leave is not considered 'ordinary time earnings' for the purpose of superannuation and therefore will not attract an employer contribution.

Supervisor

Six months notice in writing. Notice of leave may be waived where there is mutual agreement between the Employee and the delegated officer.

Where less than six months notice is provided, leave will be approved or deferred at the discretion of the delegate officer.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

6 Jury Service/ Court Attendance

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

As necessary.

An Employee performing jury service or attending court as a witness will be granted leave without pay upon production of a certificate from the Sheriff's Office or relevant court officer indicating attendance.

Where payment is received by the Employee for Jury Service and/or witness duty, and is paid to the University, leave with pay will be granted.

Supervisor

Verbal notice on the day absence commences.

A leave application must be made immediately following return to work.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

A hard copy certificate of attendance must be sighted by the supervisor prior to approving the leave and forwarded to Human Resources for record keeping.

7 Major Sporting Competitions

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Paid leave of up to five working days per annum.

For Australian representation at State or National level as player or coach. Documentary evidence of selection is required.

Supervisor

Two weeks.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

A hard copy notice of selection must be sighted by the supervisor prior to approving the leave and forwarded to Human Resources for record keeping.

8 Defence Reserve Forces

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Attendance at annual training camps, classes or courses.

Up to 16 calendar days or up to 18 days where certified by the commanding officer.

Authorised Training Notice to be supplied.

Supervisor

Two weeks.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

A hard copy training notice must be sighted by the supervisor prior to approving the leave and forwarded to Human Resources for record keeping.

9 Workplace Relations

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Five working days each year on normal salary

An Employee may be granted up to five working days leave on ordinary rates each calendar year (non cumulative) to attend workplace relations courses and seminars, provided that the University is not involved in any other costs except for the payment of extra remuneration where relieving arrangements are instituted to cover the absence of the Employee. The Employee is required to provide documentary evidence of the registration for the course/seminar.

Supervisor

Two weeks.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

A hard copy notice of registration must be sighted by the supervisor prior to approving the leave and forwarded to Human Resources for record keeping.

10 Emergency Attendance

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

As required, subject to approval.

Officers who are members of the State Emergency Service, voluntary members of local fire fighting units, auxiliaries of fire brigades, Honorary Ambulance Officers and St John Ambulance volunteers.

Supervisor

As required.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

11 Election

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

Total period not exceeding two months.

When contesting a Federal, State or Local Government election, leave may be debited from accrued annual leave or long service leave, or taken without salary.

Supervisor

Four weeks.

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

12 In Lieu of Overtime

Professional Employees up to and including USQ Level 10, except those on casual appointments.

Up to 36 hours of time in lieu of overtime may be accrued within a six month period.

Time off in lieu is calculated on an hour for hour basis.

Overtime must be approved prior to time worked.

Leave must be taken within six months of the day on which the overtime was worked, otherwise it will lapse.

Applications for leave in lieu of overtime must state the date(s) and time(s) overtime was worked.

Supervisor

Two weeks

Online utilising PeopleSoft Employee Self Service (ESS)

13 Leave without pay

All Employees except those on casual appointments.

As approved up to a maximum of two years.

Leave without pay is a special provision which may be granted on infrequent occasions to an Employee's particular need. Leave without pay may be approved for any of the following reasons:

  • for enhancing the Employee's academic or industrial experience which will provide real benefits to the University
  • for personal development purposes
  • on compassionate grounds (and compassionate or carer's leave is not available) and the Employee wishes to preserve available annual leave and long service credits
  • an absence caused by ill-health, where personal leave entitlements have been exhausted and the Employee wishes to preserve annual leave and long service leave credits
  • personal reasons, where good and sufficient reasons exist for the leave.

In all cases, approval is subject to the convenience of the University.

For periods of leave of more than six months, the following apply:

  • The Employee will be required to use available long service leave credits in excess of 18 weeks, where the leave is for personal reasons, unless otherwise approved.
  • An Employee will be paid or must exhaust all annual leave entitlements prior to commencing leave, unless due to exceptional circumstances this is waived by the relevant delegate.
  • Approval will be subject to the supervisor confirming that satisfactory alternative arrangements can be made to meet the needs of the faculty or section during the absence.
  • There will be no expectation that the Employee will return to the position held prior to taking leave (with the exception of parental or carer's leave). The Employee is entitled to be placed in a position with no less salary classification.

Periods of leave without pay have the following effects on other entitlements:

  • Unpaid leave up to a period of 10 working days will be recognised as service, for the purpose of calculating eligibility for long service leave, annual leave and personal leave. Periods in excess of 10 working days will not be recognised as service for leave purposes.
  • The increment date will be deferred by a period equivalent to the whole period of leave without pay where the period of leave is in excess of one month (for a period of up to one month, the Employee's increment date will not be changed).
  • The period of absence without salary in excess of 10 days will not count as service for the accrual of annual leave in that calendar year. Annual leave loading will be adjusted in the same way.
  • Where leave has been granted due to incapacity, and WorkCover compensation is paid, annual leave accrual is not affected.
  • The anniversary date on which an Employee becomes eligible for a further grant of personal leave will be deferred by a period equivalent to the whole period of leave without pay.
  • Where unpaid leave has been granted due to ill-health or injury, for periods up to three months, this period will be recognised as service, for the purpose of calculating eligibility for long service leave, annual leave and personal leave. Periods in excess of three months will not be recognised as service for leave purposes.

Employees contemplating leave without pay should discuss their superannuation options with the Superannuation Officer.

Supervisor for periods of less than 4 weeks

Category 4 Delegate or above for periods up to and including six months

Category 2 Delegate or above for periods of more than six months and up to two years (note that leave of this duration is regarded as exceptional).

Two week's notice for leave less than 10 days.

Six weeks notice for leave 10 days or longer.

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

14 Worker's Compensation

All PAYG Employees

Unlimited - dependent upon Work Cover granting the claim

First 26 weeks granted. For more information refer to Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

All leave accruals such as personal leave, annual leave, long service leave and incremental progression are not affected.

Category 4 Delegate or above

Not applicable

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

15 Special Leave

All employees except casuals

Negotiable

Where an Employee has exhausted their entitlements to paid leave, a further period of paid or unpaid special leave, for reasons including but not limited to cultural or ceremonial purposes, may be granted upon application to the relevant delegate.

In exceptional circumstances, the relevant Delegate may approve special paid or unpaid leave where entitlements to paid leave have not been exhausted.

Category 2 Delegate or above

As soon as practical

Paper-based utilising Absence Request Form

6 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Supervisors*

Approval of annual, personal, carer's, compassionate, long service, jury service, major sporting competitions, defence, workplace relations, emergencies, election, TOIL, leave without pay less than four weeks.

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approval of parental, leave without pay more than four weeks and up to six months, workers compensation.

Category 2 Delegate or above

Approval of leave without pay more than six months and up to two years, special leave.

7 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Executive Director, Human Resources

Policy Type

Regulated Policy and Procedure

Approved Date

8/12/2013

Effective Date

8/12/2013

Review Date

8/12/2014

Relevant Legislation

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010 - 2013

Fair Work Act 2009

Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

Related Policies

Recognition of Prior Service Policy and Procedure

Termination of Employment Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites

Absence Request Form

General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Annual, personal, sick, parental, carer’s, compassionate, long service, leave, professional development, employee exchange, jury service, major sporting competitions, defence forces, workplace relations, emergencies, election, leave without pay, worker’s compensation, special

TRIM Record No

13/356PL

*This file is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should contact the Policy Coordinator policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.
Failure to adhere to this policy may be a breach of the USQ Code of Conduct.