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Compassionate Leave Procedures

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) These procedures apply where employment is governed by the University's current Enterprise Agreement. The provisions under other industrial instruments may differ.

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Section 2 - Approval Authority

(2) The Head of Work Unit has the authority to approve compassionate leave within the provisions of the Enterprise Agreement or appropriate industrial instrument, University Policies and Procedures.

(3) The Head of Work Unit may transfer their approval authority for compassionate leave to a manager/supervisor (at HEW5 level and above) within their work unit using a Transfer of approval authority. The transfer will enable the manager/supervisor to approve the leave within MyHR for employees reporting to them.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(4) ' Immediate family member' refers to:

  1. spouse, de facto spouse or same sex partner;
  2. child, including adopted, foster, ex-nuptial or step child;
  3. parent, including foster parent or legal guardian;
  4. grandparent, grandchild or sibling;
  5. another relative who is a member of the employee's household; or
  6. child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto partner; and
  7. for Indigenous Australian employees, aunties, uncles, cousins and significant community leaders.
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Section 4 - Eligibility and Conditions


(5) An employee may be granted paid compassionate leave of up to three days per occasion due to the death or life threatening illness or injury of an immediate family member.

(6) Casual employees are not eligible for compassionate leave.


(7) Compassionate leave is non-cumulative.

(8) The period of leave taken under the provisions of compassionate leave is to be limited to the minimum time necessary in each circumstance.

(9) The onus is on the employee to clearly establish the need for compassionate leave to the satisfaction of the authorising officer. Supporting documentation may be required.

Compassionate leave during other periods of leave

(10) In the event of a bereavement or life-threatening illness or injury of an immediate family member during a period of annual leave, the employee is entitled to the re-credit of up to three days annual leave. Evidence supporting the need for the leave must be provided.

Payment of allowances during periods of compassionate leave

(11) Relieving allowance and additional responsibilities allowance will continue to be paid during periods of compassionate leave if the employee is in the higher position for a total continuous period of six months or more. Relieving allowance will not be paid when the total continuous period in the higher position is less than six months. In such cases, should the period in the higher position subsequently be extended beyond six months, the allowance will only be paid during periods of compassionate leave taken after an extension beyond six months has been approved and six months in the higher position has been served.

(12) First aid allowance will continue to be paid during periods of compassionate leave.

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Section 5 - Application and Approval Process

(13) An employee should, as far as practicable, advise their supervisor of their absence and the estimated duration within one hour of the commencement of the first working day of the absence. The employee must communicate directly with their supervisor or nominated officer, not by way of voice mail or email.

(14) The employee is required to complete a leave application in MyHR prior to commencing the leave, if possible, or as soon as they return to work.

(15) Where supporting documentation is required, it must be provided to the employee's supervisor before the leave can be approved.

(16) When the leave has been approved, the employee will receive an automatically generated confirmation email and the authorising officer will forward any supporting documentation to HR Services.

(17) Professional employees are required to reflect the period of their leave on their attendance record.

(18) Where applicable, payment of allowances will cease during the period of leave.

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Section 6 - Links and Forms