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Special Leave Procedures

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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 special leave, up to the maximum annual entitlement, 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 special 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

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Section 3 - Eligibility and Conditions


(4) An employee may be granted paid special leave of up to a maximum of three days per calendar year. Employees who are part-time or have appointments of less than 12 months are eligible for special leave on a pro-rata basis.

(5) Casual employees are not eligible for special leave.

(6) Special leave may be granted in the following circumstances:

  1. Attend an employee's own graduation ceremony;
  2. Attend NAIDOC celebrations;
  3. Attend citizenship ceremonies;
  4. Attend religious and other ceremonial events; and
  5. Other special personal circumstances as approved.

(7) In addition to the above, subject to the work unit's demonstrable operational requirements, special leave may be granted in the following circumstances:

  1. volunteering services to a not-for-profit community organisation;
  2. volunteering in the event of a declared natural disaster; and
  3. volunteering as part of a community event of national/international significance, as determined by the University.

(8) Where the period of absence relates to clause 7 and exceeds three days, the employee may be required to provide evidence.

(9) Requests for additional leave will be considered in severe climatic circumstances.


(10) Special leave is non-cumulative.

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

(12) The onus is on the employee to clearly establish the need for special leave to the satisfaction of the authorising officer.

(13) Employees may be required to provide evidence of their requirement for special leave

(14) Each application for special leave is considered on its merits and a decision relating to the approval of one period of leave cannot be used as a precedent for the granting of another period of leave.

Use of other forms of leave

(15) Where special leave is not approved for a particular requested absence, the employee may elect to have the absence deducted from available annual leave or long service leave. (The minimum requirements for the taking of LSL may be waived in this case.) Alternatively, the leave may be requested as leave without pay.

Special leave during other periods of leave

(16) Special leave will not be granted when an employee is absent on another period of approved leave.

Payment of allowances during periods of special leave

(17) Relieving allowance and additional responsibilities allowance will continue to be paid during periods of special 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 special leave taken after an extension beyond six months has been approved and six months in the higher position has been served.

(18) First aid allowance will continue to be paid during periods of special leave.

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Section 4 - Application and Approval Process

(19) An employee intending to apply for special leave should notify their supervisor of the impending absence prior to the proposed commencement date. Where emergency circumstances contribute to the absence and prior notice cannot be given, the 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.

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

(21) Prior to approving the special leave, the Head of Work Unit should confirm with HR Service that the employee has the special leave credits available.

(22) As soon as the application is approved it is sent to HR Services for the details to be recorded in Aurion.

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

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

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Section 5 - Links and Forms

Transfer of approval authority