Leave Without Pay - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the conditions and process for applying for Leave Without Pay (LWOP). 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 Sub-delegations Instrument.

Enterprise Agreement – The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018 - 2021, or as amended or replaced.

LWOP – Leave Without Pay.

3. Procedure Scope/Coverage

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

4. Procedure Statement

A staff member may access a period of Leave Without Pay, subject to approval in accordance with these procedures.

5. Leave Without Pay

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) will generally not exceed two years. A staff member may be required to exhaust Recreation and Long Service Leave entitlements prior to commencing LWOP.

The University will undertake to provide a position for the staff member on return from LWOP, however, in the case of a professional staff member, not necessarily the same position which was held before taking LWOP.

6. Leave Without Pay Conditions

6.1 Increments, continuity of service and impact on other leave

6.1.1 Impact of LWOP on salary increments

Where a staff member is not at the top of their salary scale, and has been absent on LWOP in excess of three months since the payment of their last increment, any applicable increment will be delayed by the period of absence on LWOP.

6.1.2 Continuity of Service

Absence on a period of approved LWOP will not affect a staff member’s continuous service nor will it count towards the service period for the purposes of accrual of credits towards a Special Studies or equivalent program.

6.1.3 Leave Accrual

Approved LWOP up to and including three months will not affect leave accruals. Where a period of LWOP is greater than three months, the period of LWOP that is in excess of three months will not count towards the accrual of leave.

6.1.4 Public Holidays and Christmas/New Year University Leave

No salary is payable for public holidays or Christmas/New Year University Leave which occurs during LWOP. LWOP will not be granted in broken periods separated by public holidays, Long Service Leave or Recreation Leave.

6.1.5 Personal Leave

A staff member will not be entitled to take Personal Leave (whether paid or unpaid) during a period of LWOP.

6.2 Superannuation and Leave Without Pay

Normally, superannuation contributions during LWOP will be suspended. A staff member may meet the University’s and their own share of superannuation contributions whilst on approved LWOP.

Where LWOP for three months or more is approved to pursue academic pursuits or other interests appropriate to the staff member’s University responsibilities, the Authorised Officer may approve the University to meet all or part of its contribution to the staff member’s superannuation on the staff member’s return from LWOP.

The University may pay superannuation contributions equivalent to a maximum period of 12 months service during the staff member’s absence, even if the staff member accepts a temporary appointment elsewhere during the period of LWOP, provided that the remuneration, if any, received from such an appointment does not exceed the staff member’s University salary. A condition of such contribution will be that the entire contribution will be repaid to the University if the staff member does not return to the University for six months after the last day of the LWOP.

6.3 Variation of LWOP conditions

In exceptional circumstances, LWOP conditions may be varied by the Authorised Officer at the request of the staff member.

7. Applying for Leave Without Pay

7.1 Staff member responsibilities

A staff member is expected to discuss a request for LWOP with their supervisor and/or Authorised Officer at the earliest available opportunity.

A staff member may apply for a period of LWOP.

A staff member is required to provide the following information with their leave application:

  • The duration of the leave requested;
  • Reasons for applying for the leave;
  • The benefit to the University of the requested LWOP where applicable; and
  • Any exceptional circumstances that apply.

7.2 Authorised Officer responsibilities

When considering applications for LWOP, consideration should be given to:

  • Eligibility requirements for the leave applied for;
  • The staff member’s rationale for applying for the leave including any exceptional circumstances that may apply;
  • Any benefits the requested leave would provide to the University; and
  • Operational requirements where relevant.
Chief Human Resources Officer


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Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer