Personal Leave - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the conditions and process for applying for Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's). Leave entitlements are provided through the Enterprise Agreement; the Leave Entitlements Policy; and the relevant Legislation.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule

Enterprise Agreement - The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017

Immediate family – in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) means:

a) a spouse (including former spouse), de facto partner (including same-sex partner), child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the staff member; or

b) a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a spouse, or de facto partner of the staff member.

Significant other – means a person with a sufficiently close personal relationship to the staff member which can include:

a) members of the extended family and/or community of Indigenous Australians of the staff member;

b) members of the extended family where there is a recognised cultural relationship to the staff member.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all continuing, research (contingent funded), fixed-term and casual staff members covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

4. Procedures Statement

A staff member may access a period of paid and/or unpaid Personal Leave, subject to approval in accordance with these procedures.

5. Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's) Conditions

Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's) is available to a staff member:

  • because the staff member is not fit for work because of a personal illness, or injury, affecting the staff member; or
  • to provide care or support to a member of the staff member’s immediate or extended family, household, or significant other, who requires care or support because of:

                 i. a personal illness, or injury, affecting the member; or

                ii. an unexpected emergency affecting the member.

Paid Personal Leave entitlements must be exhausted before a staff member can access unpaid Personal Leave.

A casual staff member is entitled to unpaid Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's).

A professional staff member or a language teacher in the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education who has been employed by the University for 26 years or more will receive an additional Personal Leave (Sick) credit of 13 weeks.

A staff member whose partner is confirmed as pregnant may use accrued Personal Leave (Carer's) entitlements to attend appointment(s) directly related to their partner’s pregnancy in accordance with the Parental Leave Procedures. The staff member may be required to provide medical certificate(s) or a statutory declaration confirming their partner’s pregnancy and their attendance at the appointment(s).

5.1 Personal Leave (Sick)

If all accumulated Personal Leave has been exhausted, the staff member will be on Personal (Sick) Leave Without Pay.

Contributions to superannuation schemes cease when paid Personal Leave is exhausted.

A staff member absent on Personal (Sick) Leave Without Pay on the working days immediately before and after a public holiday will not receive salary for the public holiday.

Personal (Sick) Leave Without Pay of up to and including three months counts as service for accrual of leave. Personal (Sick) Leave Without Pay in excess of three months does not count as service for the accrual of leave.

5.2 Personal Leave (Carer's)

The use of paid Personal Leave (Carer's) will normally be for circumstances that are unanticipated and of a temporary or short-term nature. However, Personal Leave (Carer's) is generally available to allow a carer to attend routine medical appointments where, due to the nature of the illness or particular medical procedure, care or support is required.

6. Reasonable Evidence Requirements

A staff member is required to provide a medical certificate or statutory declaration for Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's) of more than three consecutive days.

For Personal Leave (Sick), this may include the nature of the illness and the period during which the staff member will be unable to work. For Personal Leave (Carer's), this may include details of the illness of the person concerned and confirmation that the illness is of such a nature that a person requires care or support.

Where a staff member has a proven pattern of recurring absences on Personal Leave (Sick), the University has the right to inform the staff member that, in the event of future absences, a medical certificate may be required in respect of each period of Personal Leave (Sick) taken for a period of six months thereafter.

6.1 Workers’ compensation

If a staff member is considering applying for workers’ compensation, they must first see a doctor and obtain a workers' compensation medical certificate. Once in receipt of a medical certificate, the staff member can then request an Application for Workers' Compensation from the Work Injury Management Unit. The application should be completed in full, signed and lodged with the Work Injury Management Unit, preferably within 48 hours.

7. Continuity of Service

A staff member re-joining the University not more than three months after resignation or expiry of their appointment will have their Personal Leave balance, accrued at the date of resignation or expiry, reinstated.

8. Superannuation

At the expiration of paid Personal Leave (Sick) or a period of two months’ absence, whichever is the lesser, the staff member should contact Employee Benefits Section to establish whether or not they are eligible to apply for incapacity/disability benefits under their superannuation fund.

9. Applying for Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's)

9.1 Staff member responsibilities

A staff member should notify their supervisor and/or Authorised Officer of their request for Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's) as soon as practicable.

A staff member can make a request to the Authorised Officer for a period of Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's) using the Leave Application Form or MyAurion.

A staff member must provide reasonable evidence as required in accordance with these procedures.

9.1.1 Academic staff members

An academic staff member who has exhausted their Personal Leave entitlements may apply for additional paid Personal Leave (Sick) (non-cumulative) of up to 35 days per annum for consideration by the Authorised Officer. Such applications may be approved, provided that the sum of additional paid Personal Leave (Sick) (non-cumulative) and Personal Leave (Sick) already taken is in a continuous period and does not exceed a total of six months.

9.2 Authorised Officer responsibilities

When considering applications for Personal Leave (Sick and Carer's), consideration should be given to:

  • Eligibility requirements for the leave applied for;
  • The employee’s personal circumstances that may apply; and
  • Any evidentiary and notification requirements associated with the leave.

Approved leave applications should then be forwarded to Human Resources for processing.

10. Queensland Carers Charter

The University seeks to improve awareness of the Queensland Carers Charter.

A range of flexible work and leave arrangements are available to staff members and such arrangements may assist carers to meet their caring commitments. For further information on flexible work and leave arrangements available to staff please refer to the Flexible Working Arrangements Policy or contact Human Resources for information.

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury