Defence Forces Leave - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the conditions and process for applying for Defence Forces Leave and salary supplementation. Leave entitlements are provided through the Enterprise Agreement; the Leave Entitlements Policy; and the relevant Legislation.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Act - Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 (Cth).

Authorised Officer - the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Sub-delegations Instrument.

Defence service - service (including training) for the Australian Defence Force Reserves (Naval Reserve, Army Reserve, or Air Force Reserve).

Defence Forces Leave - leave to engage in Defence service, in accordance with the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 (Cth).

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

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all continuing, research (contingent funded), fixed-term and casual staff members covered by the Enterprise Agreement who are members of the Australian Defence Force Reserves.

4. Procedures Statement

A staff member may access a period of unpaid Defence Forces Leave and salary supplementation where applicable, subject to approval in accordance with these procedures.

5. Defence Forces Leave

5.1 Entitlement

In accordance with the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001, the University must not hinder or prevent a staff member from undertaking defence service and the training necessary to prepare them for service.

A staff member is entitled to access unpaid Defence Forces Leave to engage in Defence service (other than certain kinds of voluntary continuous full-time service) and training (including annual training, camps, weekend training, and other courses) in accordance with the Act.

Unpaid Defence Forces Leave granted (for any period) will not break continuity of service and will be treated as leave without pay in accordance with the University’s Leave Without Pay provisions.

5.2 Superannuation

Superannuation payments are normally suspended during a period of unpaid Defence Forces Leave in accordance with the Leave Without Pay Procedures. The University will meet all of its contributions to the superannuation scheme to which the staff member belongs if the staff member also meets their own contributions, regardless of the period of Defence Forces Leave.

6. Salary Supplementation

A staff member, other than a casual staff member, who is employed on a contract of employment for a period greater than one year, or has cumulative continuous employment with the University for more than one year, is deemed eligible for salary supplementation.

Salary supplementation will be provided for a period of up to four weeks per financial year. An additional week of salary supplementation will be provided for a staff member engaging in initial recruit training.

The salary supplementation amount is determined by deducting the defence reserve salary payment received by the staff member from the ordinary gross salary that would have been payable to the staff member for the ordinary hours of work for the period of leave.

7. Applying for Defence Forces Leave

7.1 Staff Member responsibilities

7.1.1 Defence Forces Leave

A staff member is expected to discuss requests for Defence Forces Leave with their supervisor and/or Authorised Officer as soon as practicable. Where possible, expected leave requirements should be discussed at the beginning of each year.

A staff member may apply for a period of Defence Forces Leave.

A staff member is required to provide reasonable evidence of the requirement to render Defence service including:

  • Confirmation of Defence Force Reserve status; and
  • Evidence of the requirement to attend Defence service.

7.1.2 Salary supplementation

A staff member may apply to receive salary supplementation for a period of Defence Forces Leave. Salary supplementation may be provided during a period of Defence Force Leave where the staff member provides at least two weeks’ notice to Human Resources in advance of commencing the period of leave, or after the completion of a period of Defence Forces Leave.

To receive salary supplementation, a staff member will need to provide the following information to Human Resources:

  • Evidence from the Defence Reserves of actual salary payment to be made/received during Defence service; and
  • Certificate of attendance (including dates of the Defence service) from the Reserve Commander.

Where a staff member receives salary supplementation payments during the period of Defence Forces Leave, the staff member is still required to provide the relevant Human Resources staff with a certificate of attendance and earnings from the Reserve Commander upon completion of the service.

7.2 Authorised Officer responsibilities

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

  • Eligibility requirements for the leave applied for; and
  • Any evidentiary and notification requirements associated with the leave.

Where the Authorised Officer has significant and legitimate operational issues with releasing a staff member for Defence service, the Authorised Officer should discuss the issue with the staff member and their Reserve Commander. If the issue remains unresolved the Authorised Officer should contact the relevant Human Resources staff to discuss the matter.

Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer