Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/6.3 Sick/carer's leave, personal leave, and compassionate leave

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

03/12/2019

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/12/2022

6.3.1 Purpose
6.3.2 Application
6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities
6.3.4 Sick/carer’s leave
6.3.5 Personal leave
6.3.6 Compassionate leave

6.3.7 Exceptions to policy
6.3.8 Definitions
6.3.9 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

6.3.1 Purpose

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.

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6.3.2 Application

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

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6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position Responsibility

Staff member

  • provides as much notice as possible of the proposed leave
  • informs their supervisor/manager of the proposed leave
  • submits an application for leave

Supervisor/manager

  • considers a staff member’s application for leave
  • provides recommendation to the authorising officer
Authorising officer
  • determines the final outcome of an application for leave

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6.3.4 Sick/carer’s leave

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 or support to a family or household member who is ill or injured, or in the event of an unexpected emergency affecting the family or household member.

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 apply to access other paid leave entitlements as an alternate option to sick leave without pay, including accrued recreational leave, accrued 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 on paid and/or unpaid sick/carer’s leave must provide a certificate from a registered health practitioner specifying the period or approximate period of absence.

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 (paid and/or unpaid) online for approval in accordance with Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations.

Sick leave without pay

Staff who have used their accrued sick/carer’s leave may apply to the authorising officer to be granted sick/carer’s leave without pay as an alternative option to accessing other paid leave entitlements.

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 public holiday.

Prior to taking sick leave without pay, staff may wish to contact their relevant superannuation fund and/or Health, Safety and Environment to discuss their individual circumstances and any factors that may need to be taken into account prior to applying for sick leave without pay.

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.

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.

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).

Returning to work after an injury or health condition

Where a staff member has been managing an injury or health condition which has impacted, or will impact, their health, safety and wellbeing at the time of their return to work, medical clearance or medical guidance for work may be requested by the supervisor to support a safe return to work (B/7.6).

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6.3.5 Personal leave

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 or 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 where Domestic and family violence leave (B/6.1) has been exhausted. Staff members are required to apply to the Executive Director, Human Resources to access any unused Personal leave for this purpose.
  • 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, including but not limited to, for example leave to attend to matters relating to the bereavement of a family or household member or to provide care or support to a family or household member for matters relating to domestic and family violence.

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 working days of personal leave.

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   for approval in accordance with Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations 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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6.3.6 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 that gives rise to the entitlement.

Casual professional and sessional academic staff are entitled to up to two days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion that gives rise to the entitlement.

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 will submit an application for compassionate leave for approval in accordance with Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations 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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6.3.7 Exceptions to policy

The Executive Director, Human Resources is authorised to approve variations to this policy in exceptional circumstances. Any such variation will be recorded by the Human Resources Department.

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6.3.8 Definitions

Cumulative means a staff member’s entitlement accrues progressively during a year of service and accumulates from year to year.

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.

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 or equivalent international body.

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6.3.9 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (VC108, VC110, VC113)

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Related Documents

MOPP B/6.1 Domestic and family violence leave

MOPP B/6.7 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural and ceremonial leave

MOPP B/7.6 Workplace health and rehabilitation

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)

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
03.12.19 All Vice-Chancellor and President Periodic review – policy revised to reflect changes in the industrial instruments
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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