Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/6.3 Personal leave, sick/carer's leave, and compassionate leave

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

25/01/2016

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/02/2019

6.3.1 Policy principles and application
6.3.2 Definitions
6.3.3 Sick/carer's leave
6.3.4 Personal leave
6.3.5 Compassionate leave
Related Documents
Modification History

6.3.1 Policy principles and application

The University is committed to providing staff with leave arrangements that enable access to paid and unpaid leave for a range of purposes to support the personal needs of the staff member and the operational requirements of the University.

This policy applies to all staff of the University (excluding casual professional and sessional academic staff unless otherwise stated).

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6.3.2 Definitions

For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply:

Family includes

  • spouse (including a current or former spouse, de facto spouse, or partner, regardless of gender identity or sexuality) of the staff member
  • a child (including an adult child, adopted child, step child and ex nuptial child), parent or step parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of either the staff member or their spouse; and
  • a person, who due to kinship, cultural or religious beliefs is considered a member of the staff member's family.

Household member is someone with whom the staff member lives and for whom the staff member has responsibility.

Indigenous Australian staff means a staff member of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and is accepted as such by their community.

Registered health practitioner means a practitioner registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

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6.3.3 Sick/carer's leave

(a) Entitlement

Staff members (excluding casual professional and sessional academic staff) are entitled to up to 10 cumulative days sick/carer's leave on full pay per annum, in the event of personal illness or injury, or to provide care and support to an immediate family or household member who is ill or injured.

Part-time staff members accrue sick/carer's leave on a proportional basis of the full-time entitlement.

For staff appointed for a minimum of 12 months, sick/carer's leave is available in advance for the first year of employment.

If a fixed-term staff member is appointed to an ongoing position or is appointed to a further fixed-term position, sick/carer's leave from the preceding appointment transfers to the new appointment providing the break in employment does not exceed three months.

Where a staff member has exhausted all sick/carer's leave accrued, they may be granted additional paid sick/carer's leave in advance of an entitlement normally up to a maximum of 10 days, or they may access other paid leave entitlements, including recreational leave, long service leave, and personal leave subject to approval from the authorising officer.

A staff member who is absent for more than three consecutive working days must provide a certificate from a registered health practitioner specifying the period or approximate period of absence.

(b) Application for sick/carer’s leave

A staff member absent from work will notify the supervisor as soon as practicable on the day of absence or prior if possible, specifying the anticipated period of absence. The staff member will submit an application for sick/carer's leave online via the QUT Digital Workplace to the supervisor.

(c) Sick leave without pay

Staff who have used their full entitlement to sick/carer’s leave and other relevant paid leave may be granted sick/carer's leave without pay by the authorising officer.

The first three months of sick/carer’s leave without pay are recognised as service in terms of accumulating long service, recreation and sick/carer's leave. The staff member's increment date does not change (if applicable). For leave without pay in excess of three months, the staff member's increment date (if applicable) is adjusted by a period equal to the period of leave in excess of three months and long service, recreation and sick/carer's leave cease accumulating.

Public holidays are counted as leave without pay if staff are on sick/carer's leave without pay on both days either side of the holiday.

Staff seeking leave without pay may wish to discuss the requirements of the relevant superannuation funds during the period of leave with the University's Superannuation Officer, Human Resources Department.

(d) Carer’s leave without pay

Staff who have used their full entitlement to sick/carer's leave, and casual professional and sessional academic staff, may be granted two days carer's leave without pay, per occasion, by the authorising officer.

There is no restriction on the number of occasions a staff member may access this entitlement.

(e) Recurring absences

Where a staff member has had a pattern of recurring absences on sick/carer's leave, the authorising officer will have the right to discuss the matter with the staff member and notify the staff member that, for any absences on sick/carer's leave for the following six months, the staff member may be required to provide a certificate from a registered health practitioner.

(f) Transfer of sick leave credits for academic staff on appointment

Up to 50 days sick leave credits may be transferred for ongoing and fixed-term academic staff (full-time and part-time) transferring to QUT from related employment within Australia (as defined in B/6.4.8).

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6.3.4 Personal leave

(a) Entitlement

Staff members (excluding casual professional/sessional academic staff) may be granted up to seven days non-cumulative personal leave on full pay in a 12 month period commencing from their date of appointment. Personal leave may be granted under circumstances including but not limited to:

  • leave to provide care and support to members of their family or household who are ill or injured
  • leave to adhere to and celebrate cultural or religious days of observance
  • leave to participate in major competitions where the staff member has been selected to compete, or as an accredited official, either for their state at a national level, or for Australia at an international level
  • medical appointments or illness directly related to pregnancy
  • attending to matters relating to domestic or family violence situations
  • for Indigenous Australian staff, leave to prepare for or attend community organisation business, native title business, or National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observation Committee (NAIDOC) Week
  • other special circumstances as approved by the authorising officer.

Part-time staff are granted personal leave on a proportional basis of the full-time entitlement.

If the intention to use personal leave, in accordance with these provisions, is to provide care and support to family or household members who are ill or injured, the staff member must submit a certificate from a registered health practitioner or other evidence of the family or household member’s illness or injury, if claiming in excess of three consecutive days of personal leave.

(b) Application and approval for personal leave

A staff member should endeavour to provide as much notice as possible of the requested leave. If it is not possible for the staff member to give prior notice, the staff member will notify the supervisor of such absence at the earliest opportunity.

An application for personal leave will be submitted to the authorising officer online via the QUT Digital Workplace for approval prior to the leave being taken or, where this is not possible, upon return to work.

An application for personal leave must outline the reason for the requested leave and the anticipated length of the absence.

The supervisor may require reasonable evidence in support of an application for personal leave.

Applications for paid personal leave for periods in excess of seven days within a 12 month period will be considered by the authorising officer following consultation with the Human Resources Department.

Subject to approval from the authorising officer, a staff member may take recreation leave, accrued long service leave, unpaid personal leave and accrued sick/carer’s leave for personal purposes.

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6.3.5 Compassionate leave

Staff members (excluding casual professional and sessional academic staff) are entitled to up to two days non-cumulative compassionate leave on full pay per occasion.

Casual professional and sessional academic staff are entitled to up to two days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion.

Staff may take compassionate leave as a single continuous period or in part, in minimum lots of one day, per occasion.

Compassionate leave means leave taken by a staff member

  • because a family or household member contracts or develops a personal illness that poses a serious threat to their life
  • because a family or household member sustains a personal injury that poses a serious threat to their life
  • for bereavement of a family or household member
  • for matters relating to domestic or family violence or abuse that pose a serious threat to their life, or to provide care or support to someone in their family or household for matters relating to domestic or family violence that pose a serious threat to their life.

There is no restriction on the number of occasions for which this entitlement may be accessed.

A staff member absent from work will notify the supervisor as soon as practicable on the day of absence, or prior if possible. The staff member must apply for compassionate leave online via the QUT Digital Workplace for approval at the earliest opportunity, or upon return to work.

A supervisor may request reasonable evidence to support an application for compassionate leave.

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Related Documents

MOPP Appendix 3 - Schedule of Authorities and Delegations

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) (QUT staff access only)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) (QUT staff access only)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
25.01.16 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy
17.11.14 All Associate Director, Policy and Workplace Relations Editorial amendments to reflect the termination of the senior staff agreement
15.11.13 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy to reflect changes to personal leave relating to domestic and family violence situations
24.01.11 All Vice-Chancellor Periodic review - Policy revised to reflect the University's industrial instruments and incorporate policies B/4.8 Transfer of sick leave credits for academic staff on appointment and B/6.7 Personal Leave
17.11.05 All Vice-Chancellor New policy

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