The University of Western Australia
This policy defines the various leave entitlements for employees in regard to sickness, absence and other leave. The University encourages employees to establish a balance between their working and personal lives. Effective leave management is important to the operation of the University. Supervisors and employees are accountable for ensuring leave management plans are in place.
"Accrual period" means a designated period of time in which leave accrues. The period of time is dependent on the leave type.
"Accrued leave" means the uncleared leave that an employee is entitled to from a previous accrual period.
"Approved Delegate" means a position granted authority to act on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor with varied levels of authority in line with the University's Delegations.
"Casual" means an engagement specified as such at the time and is employed by the hour and paid on an hourly basis in accordance with the appropriate classification.
"Ceremonial/cultural leave" provides leave for legitimate religious, ceremonial and cultural purposes to meet the employee's customs, traditional law and to participate in ceremonial activities.
"Conference" means attendance, or presentation of a paper at a conference.
"Continuous service" means a period of service at the University without a break (continuous employment).
"Deferred Salary Scheme" means the agreed period the employee chooses to defer receipt of a percentage of their salary, in exchange for an extended period of leave.
"Domestic violence" means one of the following acts that a person commits against another person with whom he or she is in a family and domestic relationship (current or former):
(a) assaulting or causing personal injury to the person;
(b) kidnapping or depriving the person of their liberty;
(c) damaging the person's property, including the injury or death of an animal that is the person's property;
(d) behaving in an ongoing manner that is intimidating, offensive or emotionally abusive towards the person;
(e) pursuing the person or a third person, or causing the person or a third person to be pursued:
(i) with intent to intimidate the person; or
(ii) in a manner that could reasonably be expected to intimidate, and that does in fact intimidate, the person;
(f) threatening to commit any act described in paragraphs (a) to (c) against the person.
"Emergency Management Response" means an activity that involves responding to an emergency, is carried out on a voluntary basis, with a recognised emergency management body.
"Employee" means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing or fixed term contract under the terms of the following Agreements (as amended or replaced from time to time): Professional & General Staff Agreement, Academic Staff Agreement, Child Care Employees' Agreement and ELICOS Teachers Agreement.
"Employee Assistance Program" is an University funded assistance for employees and their immediate family, to access specialist help when experiencing difficulties of a personal or work-related nature.
"Excess leave" means an annual leave accrual of more than eight (8) weeks or a long service leave accrual of more than thirteen (13) weeks.
"Fieldwork" means work at nominated field locations for the purposes of research and/or teaching at the University.
"FTE" means Full-Time Equivalent, eg, an FTE of 1.0 means an employee is equivalent to full-time (calculated at 37.5 hours per week), while an FTE of 0.5 means the employee works half-time.
"Immediate family member" refers, but is not limited to:
- a spouse (including a former spouse, a defacto, a former defacto and a current or former same sex partner);
- a child or adult child (including an adopted child, a step child or an ex nuptial child) of the employee;
- a parent, parent in law, foster parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee;
- a child or adult child (including an adopted child, a step child or an ex nuptial child) of the spouse;
- a parent, parent in law, foster parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the spouse;
- a person who lives with the employee in the same household or whose care is the employee's responsibility and recognising a wide range of relationships and structures which may include one or more of the following: extended family, friendship and dependency.
"Juror" means a randomly chosen individual who decides whether a person in a criminal trial is guilty or not guilty.
"Jury Service or Jury Duty" means an individual serving as a "juror" at a criminal trial.
"Misconduct" means the wilful unsatisfactory conduct of an employee.
"Non-participatory period" means secondments (where the outside organisation pays), leave without pay, sick leave without pay (greater than 3 months) and parental leave.
"Outside Studies Programme" means programmes of study that cannot be completed effectively within the University.
"Participatory period" means personal (sick) leave without pay (less than or equal to 3 months), paid personal (sick) leave, long service leave, annual leave and approved leave while in receipt of workers' compensation.
"Personal leave entitlement" means the accrued entitlement for paid leave on account of illness, injury or caring.
" Pro rata leave" A proportionate amount of money or period of time. Part-time employees generally receive pro rata entitlements, based on the number of hours worked.
"Purchased Leave Scheme" means the 52 week period the employee is paid at a reduced percentage of salary to purchase additional leave.
"Qualifying service" means the period of service required in order to qualify for certain benefits and/or bonuses at the University.
"Registered Health Practitioner" means a health practitioner who practices in a health profession as defined under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010 and as listed on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Health professions include chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing and midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice, Chinese medicine, medical radiation practice and occupational therapy.
"Recognised Emergency Management Body" means a body that has a role or function under a plan to cope with emergencies/and or disasters and is prepared by the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, such as the State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance Brigade or Bush Fire Brigade.
"Scheme" means Purchased Leave Scheme or Deferred Salary Scheme.
"Secondment" means temporary transfer out of the University to another organisation for a specific period of time.
"Supervisor" means the University person who is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the employee.
"UNESCO" means the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
"University" means The University of Western Australia.
"Unpaid leave" means a leave of absence from work without pay.
"Veteran" means an employee who has completed eligible war service.
"WHO" means the World Health Organisation.
For a detailed outline of the entitlement and eligibility for the relevant leave, please refer to Leave - Appendix A.
Community Service Leave
Annual Leave (including Annual Leave Loading)
Ceremonial/ Cultural Leave
Conference, fieldwork and outside studies programme Leave
Leave for Emergency Services
Compassionate/ Bereavement Leave
Employee Funded Extra Leave
Leave for International Sporting Events
Leave Without Pay (including Sick Leave Without Pay)
Leave with Defence Force Reserves
Personal (Sick and Carer's)
2.1 Purpose of Leave
Annual leave is a period of paid leave during which an employee has a break from the workplace. The University encourages employees to clear their annual leave entitlement each year.
2.2 Annual Leave
2.2.1 Conditions of Leave
Employees are required to give reasonable notice of their request to take leave. Annual leave may be taken for a period agreed between an employee and their supervisor. No request for annual leave is to be unreasonably refused.
Under exceptional circumstances, the University may request employees to cancel annual leave arrangements. In the event than an employee has already paid for accommodation and airfares (or alternative transportation), the employee may request the University reimburse any portion that could not be refunded, specific to those circumstances.
Where a public holiday not worked by the University (including the end of year closedown period) falls during a period of annual leave, these hours will not be deducted from the employee's leave balance.
Annual leave booked over public holidays worked by the University, will be deducted from the employee's leave balance.
An employee may elect to access up to a full year's leave entitlement in advance.
2.2.2 Illness While On Annual Leave
Where an employee is ill for a period of time during annual leave, refer to clause 15.4.
2.2.3 Payment of Leave
Employees will be paid at the ordinary rate of pay received at the commencement of leave.
2.2.4 Cashing Out Annual Leave
Cashed out leave will be allowed on the grounds of financial hardship only. An employee must submit a written application to the Director, Human Resources or delegate for approval. The University may require further details of the employee's financial situation and request more detailed information. All periods of cashed out annual leave will not count as service.
The minimum period of leave to be cashed out is one (1) week. A minimum balance of four (4) weeks annual leave must be maintained for an application to be accepted. All payments made when cashing out annual leave are superannuable, and paid at the ordinary rate of pay.
Employees are advised to seek financial advice before making an application to cash out leave.
2.2.5 Clearance of Annual Leave
It is the intention that all annual leave should be taken:
Employees are encouraged to clear all accrued leave prior to resignation or the expiry of their appointment. Externally funded, fixed term employees, may be required to clear leave before the expiry of their contract.
2.2.6 Excess Leave
When an employee has excess leave they are required to reduce the leave entitlement to four (4) weeks or less. The employee will be notified in writing of the twelve (12) month period in which to clear their excess leave. The amount of leave cleared will include leave that accrues during the twelve (12) month period.
Where the employee does not clear leave within the required twelve (12) month period, the University may provide a further written direction to clear leave. This notice to clear will be provided at least eight (8) weeks before clearance is to commence.
2.3 Annual Leave Loading
2.3.1 Conditions of Payment
Employees will be paid the leave loading in November or the first pay period in December each year.
2.4 Resignation or Termination
Employees leaving the University will be (calculated as at the date of resignation or termination):
Employees who leave before 31 December and have been paid leave loading, are not required to repay the leave loading amount.
3.1 Purpose of leave
In special circumstances academic and professional and general employees may be granted leave to attend conferences, undertake fieldwork or attend an outside study programme (OSP) during the course of the year, as part of required University duties or during sabbatical leave. This leave is additional to an employee's existing leave entitlements.
3.2 Conditions of Leave
Fieldwork, conference and OSP leave is not an entitlement.
Each application will be treated on its merits and determined in accordance with the following principles:
A written business case must be submitted and approval obtained prior to commencing the requested leave as follows:
Approval from the Head of School only:
Approval from Dean and support of Head of School is required where:
It should be noted that approval for a travel grant is separate to the approval required for conference, fieldwork or OSP leave. Refer to the Financial Services Travel Policy and Travel Payments Policy for more information.
3.4 Attendance at a Conference - Professional and General Staff
The University acknowledges that professional and general employees may be invited to present at, or attend, conferences. Approval is granted on the basis that:
3.5 Fringe Benefit Tax Implications
3.5.1 All Employees
Travel time to attend conferences, OSPs and fieldwork will be in accordance with the Travel Fringe Benefit Tax Policy.
4.1 Purpose of leave
The purpose of employee funded extra leave is to provide employees with options for Flexible Work and Leave Practices.
Effective leave management, including limiting leave liability, is critical to the operation of the University. Supervisors are accountable for managing their employees' leave and are required to have leave management plans in place.
4.2 Conditions of Employee Funded Extra Leave
The Approved Delegate will assess each application for an employee funded extra leave scheme on its merits. The work area must take into account the personal circumstances of the employee, together with the operational requirements of the work area, when considering each application, including ensuring that workload does not unreasonably increase or result in overtime for other employees within the work area.
Retrospective applications for employee funded extra leave are not permitted.
Employees are to provide their supervisor with a proposed leave plan when applying for an employee funded extra leave scheme.
Employees are expected to clear their purchased leave/deferred salary within the period of the scheme.
Withdrawal from employee funded extra leave schemes must be made in writing and be:
Employee funded extra leave schemes are not intended to be used where a reduction in FTE is required.
Leave purchased under the employee funded extra leave scheme:
An employee who is on a period of employee funded extra leave will continue to accrue annual, long service and personal leave credits. The leave credits accessed after the expiry of the scheme, will be paid at 100% of the employee's salary.
All forms of leave taken during the scheme period will be paid at the reduced salary, detailed in the Employee Funded Extra Leave Agreement.
Employee funded extra leave will affect superannuation benefits. Employees should seek independent financial advice. Employees who wish to continue superannuation contributions based on 100% of their applicable rate of pay will be responsible for arranging and paying the difference. For further information, please contact the HR Employee Benefits.
4.4 Purchased Leave
4.4.1 Conditions of Purchased Leave Scheme
A purchased leave agreement is for a period of twelve (12) months. If the employee wishes to continue the purchased leave agreement for a further period, a new application must be submitted before the end of the twelve (12) month period.
All purchased leave should be taken during the purchased leave period. Purchased leave must be exhausted in full before accessing an annual leave entitlement.
Where an employee has been unable to exhaust all of their purchased leave entitlement at the end of the twelve (12) month period, the employee's salary will be adjusted and the unexhausted portion of the purchased leave will be paid to the employee.
Employees who withdraw from the scheme or resign from the University before the end of the purchased leave period will either:
All employees must submit a proposed leave plan to their supervisor with their application for purchased leave, at the beginning of each calendar year (or earlier where requested).
Purchased leave is considered as service for all purposes.
Where an employee is required to work overtime during the purchased leave agreement period, they will be paid overtime based on 100% of their applicable rate of pay.
4.5 Deferred Salary Scheme
4.5.1 Conditions of Deferred Salary Scheme
Employees who withdraw from the Deferred Salary Scheme or resign from the University before accessing/clearing the deferred leave will be paid:
Non-participatory periods, will not be deemed as withdrawal from the scheme and will delay the commencement of the leave by the length of non-participation.
Employees will be paid their normal salary during non-participatory periods.
Annual leave is to be cleared annually during the term of the Deferred Salary Scheme.
Deferred leave must be taken immediately following the completion of the deferred salary scheme period.
Deferred leave will not constitute a break in service and will count as service for all purposes, except salary increments.
Employees cannot work for the University when taking their deferred leave.
In addition to the leave provided under clauses 6 to 10, employees may access any accrued annual and long service leave or leave without pay (at the employee's election).
Employees are also entitled to reasonable travel time and rest time immediately following the leave, provided it is related.
The University recognises that employees may occasionally be required to attend jury service. Jury service is usually for a period of one (1) week and jurors are required to be available for the duration of this period.
6.2 Conditions of Leave
Employees are not entitled to receive any jurors' fees, other than for travel on public transport.
In some circumstances (i.e. for long trial periods) the court will provide an employee with an Employer Reimbursement Form for the work area to seek reimbursement for salary paid during the term of the jury service.
Refer to Department of Commerce for employers regarding jury service.
Employees will receive a Jury Summons.
For fixed term and ongoing employees, on return from Jury Service, employee completes a Staff Leave Application form for the date/s and hours of attendance.
For casual staff, employee completes a timesheet for the date/s and hours of attendance.
The completed leave form or timesheet, with the Jury Summons and Certificate of Service attached, should be sent to HR Services - Employment (M350) for processing.
Reimbursement of funds associated with Jury Service are done through the School and Financial Services - they are not processed via HR Services
The Sheriff's Office (Court) will give the employee an Employer Application Form for Reimbursement of Wages Paid to Employees while on Jury Duty and a Statutory Declaration Form.
The school, division or faculty will need to:
Complete both forms from the Sheriff's Office, and
Complete a Financial Services Invoice Request Form - quoting Customer ID: CST105798.
Forward all forms to Financial Services in order for them to process an invoice to send to the Sheriff's Office
7.1 Purpose of Leave
Leave for emergency services may be granted for attendance at an emergency and/or disaster which is certified by the relevant voluntary organisation.
7.2 Conditions of Leave
An employee may be granted leave and will be paid at their ordinary rate of pay if they are volunteer members of a recognised Emergency Management Body provided the employee:
An emergency management response does not include activity undertaken to prevent an emergency/disaster or the recovery activity preceding an emergency/disaster.
8.1 Purpose of leave
Leave with pay may be granted to employees chosen to represent Australia as a competitor or official at a sporting event.
8.2 Conditions of Leave
Leave to attend recognised international sporting events may be granted where an employee is chosen to represent Australia as a competitor or official.
The employee must provide all evidence supporting their leave request, at least four (4) weeks prior to commencing leave.
The Approved Delegate is required to confirm with the relevant sporting authority that the evidence provided by the employee is correct.
9.1 Purpose of Leave
The University may approve leave of absence to an employee who is a volunteer member of the Australian Defence Force Reserves (ADF Reserves) and/or the Cadet Force (Cadets) for the purpose of attending approved activities.
9.2 Conditions of leave
Any period of leave without pay under this clause, is recognised as continuous or qualifying service.
An employee who is a member of both the ADF Reserves and Cadets will only be granted leave for:
9.3 Documentary Requirements
This leave will be granted on receipt of the following documentation:
9.4 Employer Support Payment Scheme (ESP Scheme)
The ADF Reserves provide assistance to eligible employers to offset the costs of releasing employees for Defence service. Full details can be found at: Employer Support Payment Scheme.
If the ESP claim is accepted by the ADF Reserves, HR Services will forward any cheque issued to the work area of the employee.
9.5 Continuous Full Time Duty
Where an employee is called up or wishes to undertake continuous full time duty with the ADF Reserves, a formal written request should be addressed to the Director, Human Resources or delegate for consideration.
Any period of continuous full time duty with the ADF Reserves is recognised as continuous or qualifying service for the purposes of incremental progression, and leave accruals (such as annual, long service and personal leave).
10.1 Purpose of Leave
The University provides paid leave for veterans who have suffered a war caused illness.
10.2 Conditions of Leave
Leave of absence may be granted irrespective of any entitlements existing under personal leave entitlements.
The following notice and evidence requirements apply to short, bereavement/compassionate, and ceremonial/cultural leave:
12.1 Purpose of Leave
The University is committed to providing support for employees to meet religious observances, ceremonial and/or cultural obligations on days when they would otherwise be expected to attend work.
12.2 Conditions of Leave
Recognised religious/cultural leave is outlined in, but not limited to, the University's Interfaith Calendar. Where a religious/cultural event is not included in the Interfaith Calendar, leave will be approved provided it includes religious observances, ceremonial/religious obligations.
Any ceremonial obligation which falls on a weekend, does not require the support of the University for observance and a substituted leave day will not be granted.
13.1 Purpose of leave
Compassionate/bereavement leave is available in cases of severe illness, death and threat to life for an employee or a member of their immediate family.
13.2 Conditions of Leave
Employees can take this leave as two separate periods of one (1) day each or any separate periods agreed by their supervisor to a maximum of two (2) consecutive days.
Compassionate/bereavement leave provides leave for each permissible occasion when a member of the employee's immediate family:
Contracting a life threatening illness and subsequently dying are two (2) permissible occasions. The first two (2) days entitlement, however, must be taken during the illness.
Employee's seeking leave on the grounds of compassion and/or bereavement will be connected with the University's Employee Assistance Program.
13.3 Domestic Violence
The University is committed to supporting employees to continue to participate in the workplace, maintain employment and career development.
The University may require reasonable evidence as proof of domestic violence and such evidence might include an agreed document issued by the police service, court, registered health practitioner, domestic violence support service or lawyer, or counselling professional.
The University seeks to create a supportive and safe work environment where employees are comfortable in requesting assistance for domestic violence related concerns. Supportive processes include but are not limited to:
Where other employees or members of the University community may be at risk of physical harm, the supervisor must:
Where additional support is required, employees submit a written application to the Director, Human Resources for consideration.
Supervisors will treat each domestic violence report and/or request for leave seriously, promptly and with the appropriate confidentiality.
14.1 Purpose of leave
In exceptional circumstances the University understands that employees may have situations or opportunities arise that fall outside the other leave criteria defined in this policy.
14.2 Conditions of Leave
Every application for unpaid leave will be considered on its merits.
The application must be submitted in writing to the supervisor, and approved by the Approved Delegate.
The supervisor and/or Approved Delegate are satisfied that adequate relief is available and have considered the any possible negative impacts on the work area.
The employee will have exhausted all other accrued paid leave credits except where the leave without pay is for the purposes of:
The maximum period of unpaid leave that can be accessed is twelve (12) months, in the first instance.
Approval will not be provided where unpaid leave exceeds the term of a fixed-term appointment.
When applying for periods of unpaid leave, employees must:
If a work area becomes aware of an employee not returning to work on an intended date, Human Resources must be notified immediately to ensure overpayments do not occur.
When on unpaid leave, employees accept:
Unpaid leave exceeding 14 calendar days (or calendar 2 weeks):
Leave without pay for eligible employees may be approved in the following circumstances to:
14.3 Appointment under an International Scheme of Assistance
If an employee is granted leave without pay to take up an appointment under an international scheme of assistance for developing countries (e.g. UNESCO, WHO) to which Australia is a party:
15.1 Purpose of Leave
Employees are entitled to paid and unpaid leave in the case of personal illness, injury, or to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family who has a personal illness or injury or an unexpected emergency.
15.2 Conditions of Leave
The University recognises that when an employee needs to see a medical specialist, consultation hours may be inflexible and an absence from work necessary.
Personal leave for a full-time employee is calculated and credited in advance on the following basis:
On date of appointment
On completion of six (6) months' service
On completion of twelve (12) months' service
On completion of each additional twelve (12) months' service
The intent of personal leave does not include routine appointments which could be arranged outside of work hours. The Flexible Work and Leave Policy may cover an employee's absence from work for matters such as routine appointments.
Employees on leave without pay cannot access personal leave during that period.
Public holidays observed by the University which occur during a period of personal leave will not be deducted from the employee's leave balance.
All employees must:
Employees who cause injury or illness through misconduct, or are absent from duty without sufficient cause, will not be granted leave on account of illness or injury.
This entitlement must be used solely for the purpose of illness, injury or caring and will not be cashed out under any circumstances.
15.3 Medical Documentation
Satisfactory medical evidence (a medical certificate) from a registered health practitioner is required for absences of three (3) or more consecutive working days. An additional medical certificate will be required where the employee is unable to return to work, following the initial approved period of personal leave.
The University may request an employee, to provide a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner confirming they are fit to resume work.
Where there is reasonable doubt about an employee's absence, Human Resources is available to support supervisors seeking satisfactory medical evidence, or a Statutory Declaration, to confirm the employee's absence is due to personal illness or injury or care for an immediate family member.
The Director, Human Resources or delegate may be notified if there are reasonable grounds to doubt an employee's absences, and may require the employee to provide medical certificates for all future absences for a period of time not exceeding twelve (12) months. The employee may subsequently request, in writing, the Director, Human Resources or delegate to review this period.
15.4 Illness, Injury or Caring During Other Leave
The following leave will be recredited and personal leave deducted if an employee is ill, injured or caring for an immediate family member and provides a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner:
15.5 Resignation, Expiry or Retirement
If an employee resigns or their contract expires and they are subsequently reappointed by the University, the employee is regarded as a new appointee from the date of reappointment.
Where an employee is reappointed within eight (8) weeks of their resignation or contract expiry, the employee's personal leave credits at the date of the employee's resignation will be reinstated.
Where an employee retires on medical grounds and subsequently returns to employment, personal leave credits, at the date of retirement, will be recredited.
Medical documentation is to be given to the supervisor to be forwarded to Human Resources M350.
The employee's staff number must be clearly detailed on the top right hand corner of medical certificates.
15.6 University Requested Medical Examination
The University will request a medical examination, conducted by a registered health practitioner, where:
The cost of such a medical examination will be met by the University.
16.1 Purpose of leave
Short Leave is for urgent private business that occurs without notice.
16.2 Conditions of Leave
Short leave can be used for an emergency at home such as storm/flood damage.
Short leave is not to be used for planned arrangements such as moving house or routine medical appointments.
An employee may be granted short leave subject to the approval of the Approved Delegate where he/she:
Short Leave should only be used in genuine circumstances and should not be cleared toward the end of the year.
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