Special Leave - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the conditions and process for applying for Special Leave. 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 varied or replaced.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all staff.

4. Procedures Statement

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

5. Special Leave Conditions

A staff member may apply for Special Leave, paid or unpaid, in cases of pressing necessity, including for any reason outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.

A casual staff member is only entitled to unpaid Special Leave, except when they apply for domestic and family violence leave.

It is generally expected that Special Leave will only be requestesd in exceptional circumstances.

Where a staff member is unable to attend work because they, or someone in their immediate family or household, is experiencing domestic violence, a staff member should refer to the Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Support Options Available for Staff Members – Guidelines for more information on leave, including domestic and family violence leave, and other support mechanisms that may be available.

Special Leave is not generally provided as additional sick leave.

In addition, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff member will be entitled to be released from duty on full pay to attend National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations, subject to approval and operational requirements.

Recognised union delegates will also be entitled to access up to 5 days paid Special Leave for trade union training subject to approval and operational requirements.

Special Leave may be approved in conjunction with other types of leave.

Where the death of a family member has occurred, the staff member should request leave in accordance with the Compassionate Leave Procedure.

6. Applying for Special Leave

6.1 Staff member responsibilities

A staff member is expected to discuss requests for Special Leave with their supervisor and/or Authorised Officer as soon as practicable.

Staff members should ensure they have considered the appropriateness of alternative leave types prior to applying for Special Leave.

A staff member may apply for a period of paid and/or unpaid Special Leave.

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;
  • Any exceptional circumstances that may apply; and
  • Whether the request is for paid or unpaid Special Leave (or a combination).

A staff member may be required to provide reasonable evidence to the Authorised Officer to support a request for Special Leave (including where that request relates to domestic and family violence leave).

To assist the University in providing Special Leave due to a situation of domestic violence, a staff member may need to provide relevant documentation to support their leave application as outlined in the Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Support Options Available for Staff Members – Guidelines.

6.2 Authorised Officer responsibilities

When considering applications for Special Leave, consideration should be given to:

  • Eligibility requirements for the leave applied for;
  • Any exceptional circumstances that apply;
  • Any evidentiary and notification requirements associated with the leave;
  • Other forms of leave that may be more suitable; and
  • Operational requirements where relevant.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer