54. General conditions54.1 The department provides access to a flexible range of options for paid and unpaid leave that assist Staff to balance work with other personal priorities.
54.2 All accrued leave entitlements will be expressed and deducted in hours and minutes.
54.3 Further information on leave is available in the Leave Guidelines.
Public holidays during leave54.4 Payment for public holidays which fall during a period of leave will be paid in accordance with clause 47.4 of the Agreement.
Absences on compensation leave54.5 Where a Staff member is absent on compensation leave, a Manager is required to consult with the Rehabilitation Case Manager prior to approval of applications for other forms of leave.
Donating blood54.6 The department recognises the importance of and supports Staff in donating blood. Staff donating blood during working hours, are not required to complete a leave application or to utilise flextime.
Recall to duty54.7 The department will not unreasonably cancel approved leave or recall Staff to duty while on leave. If a Staff member is recalled, the Secretary will approve reimbursement toward travel expenses, incidental expenses or family care costs not otherwise recoverable under insurance or from another source, provided that the Staff member took reasonable precautions to avoid such expenses.
Non-approval of leave54.8 Where a Manager decides to refuse a formal application for leave, the Manager will advise the Staff member of the reason(s) for the decision in writing, including reasons relating to operational requirements. The Manager, the Staff member and, where the Staff member requests, a support person will meet to consider alternative arrangements if required.
55. Portability of leave55.1 Where an ongoing APS Staff member moves (including on promotion or for an agreed period) from another agency, the Staff member’s unused accrued annual leave and personal/carers leave (however described) will be recognised, provided there is no break in continuity of service.
55.2 Where a Staff member is engaged as either an ongoing or non-ongoing APS Staff member immediately following a period of ongoing employment under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 or the ACT Government Service, the Staff member’s unused accrued annual leave and personal/carers leave (however described) will be recognised.
Former non-ongoing staff55.3 Where a person is engaged as an ongoing Staff member, and immediately prior to the engagement the person was employed as a non-ongoing APS Staff member, The Secretary, at the Staff member’s request, may recognise any accrued annual leave and personal/carers leave (however described), provided there is no break in continuity of service. Any recognised annual leave excludes any accrued leave paid out on separation.
Top of page
55.4 For the purposes of this clause:
- ‘APS’ Staff member has the same meaning as the PS Act; and
- ‘Parliamentary Service’ refers to employment under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.
56. Annual leave56.1 The purpose of annual leave is to provide Staff with the opportunity for a reasonable break from work. Therefore, it is important that Staff take leave within a reasonable period of its accrual. Leave planning is an integral part of work planning and task allocation for Managers. The timing and duration of annual leave is to be mutually agreed between the Staff member and the Staff member’s Manager unless the leave is for health and/or safety reasons.
56.2 Staff are encouraged to access their annual leave by taking a minimum of two weeks leave in a single block per calendar year.
Entitlement56.3 Full-time Staff are entitled to the equivalent of four weeks (150 hours), for each full year worked. Part-time Staff accrue annual leave on a pro-rata basis for ordinary hours worked. Annual leave will accrue daily, and be credited at the completion of each calendar month.
56.4 Staff working in a remote locality may have additional annual leave. Further information is available in the Remote Locality Guideline.
Calculation56.5 Annual leave credits for all eligible Staff will be calculated using the following formula:
(A/B x 150) (C/D) = E
A = Calendar days in the month
B = 365 calendar days (366 in leap year)
C = Monthly hours from Staff member’s work schedule
D = Monthly hours from full time work schedule
E = Credit
150 = Basic annual credit of four weeks expressed in hours
56.6 Each period of service that has different weekly hours is calculated separately. If separate credits are calculated, all credits are added and expressed as a total number of hours of leave available.
Effect of leave without pay56.7 Where ‘leave without pay not to count as service’ has been granted in the accrual period, annual leave will be adjusted on the day of accrual as follows:
- Where aggregated absences for periods totalling 30 calendar days or less, the annual leave accrual is not affected.
- Where aggregated full day absences total more than 30 calendar days, the total period of leave without pay is deducted from the number of calendar days to count as service in the formula at clauses 56.5 and 56.6.
- Where leave without pay covers an entire calendar year, no annual leave credit accrues for that year.
Direction to take annual leave56.8 The Secretary may direct a Staff member who has more than two years annual leave credit to take annual leave. The Staff member must take annual leave if directed to do so.
56.9 The Staff member may be directed to be on leave (and to be absent from the workplace) for whichever is lesser of:
- 10 consecutive working days; or
- a period of time equal to 25 per cent of accrued annual leave credits at the time of the direction.
Deferring leave56.10 A Staff member may apply to the Secretary to defer taking the leave defined in clause 56.8 for up to one year from an agreed date.
56.11 A Staff member with an annual leave credit greater than two years on:
- commencing duty in the department; or
- returning to work following a long term absence due to illness or injury; or
- resuming duty following a graduated return to work
56.12 Further information on direction to take leave is available in the Direction to Take Leave Guideline.
Annual leave at half pay56.13 Staff may take annual leave at half pay. The minimum absence of leave on half pay is two working days, with further absences in multiples of two days.
Public holidays during leave56.14 Where a public holiday occurs in a period of annual leave, the public holiday will not be deducted from the Staff member’s annual leave credits.
Payment of annual leave on termination56.15 Any unused accrued annual leave will be subject to payment to the Staff member when the Staff member’s APS employment is terminated.
56.16 Payment will be calculated using the Staff member’s final rate of salary, including allowances that would have been included in the Staff member's pay during a period of annual leave.
56.17 For Staff in remote localities, district allowance will be included in the calculation only for the component of the annual leave credit that accrued in the remote locality.
Special availability56.18 Without limiting the general entitlement under clause 56.3, a Staff member may access annual leave where they have a long term illness and have exhausted other paid leave entitlements.
Top of page
57. Personal/carers leave57.1 On engagement, an ongoing Staff member will be credited with personal/carers leave of 18 days (135 hours) or the part-time equivalent. A further 18 days (135 hours) or the part-time equivalent will accrue on completion of each 12 month period of service thereafter.
57.2 Ongoing Staff will accumulate 18 days (or the part-time equivalent) personal/carers leave credits at full pay each year without limit throughout the Staff member’s period of employment with the department.
Accrual and credits - non-ongoing staff57.3 Full-time non-ongoing Staff, other than casual Staff, are entitled to 18 days personal/carers leave (135 hours) per year or the part-time equivalent, accruing daily.
57.4 Personal/carers leave credits for Staff covered by clause 57.3 will be calculated and credited at the end of the calendar month, using the following formula:
(A/B x 135) (C/D) = E
A = Calendar days in the month
B = 365 calendar days (366 in leap year)
C = Monthly hours from Staff work schedule
D = Monthly hours from full time work schedule
E = Credit
135 = Basic annual credit of eighteen days expressed in hours
Part-time ongoing staff57.5 Part-time Staff’ credits will be calculated using the following formula:
A x 3.6 = B
A = weekly hours on the date of accrual
B = credit
Deferral of accrual57.6 Where ‘leave without pay not to count as service’ has been granted in the accrual year, personal/carers leave accrual will be deferred as follows:
- Where aggregated full day absences total 30 calendar days or less, the accrual is not affected.
- Where aggregated full day absences total more than 30 calendar days, the accrual date will be deferred by one calendar month for each 30 calendar day period.
Unpaid carers leave - casual staff57.7 Casual Staff are entitled to two days unpaid personal leave for caring purposes for each permissible occasion, subject to notifying the Staff member’s Manager and providing satisfactory evidence.
Advice to Manager57.8 A Staff member, where practicable, must personally advise the Staff member’s Manager of the Staff member’s absence or the Staff member’s intention to be absent as soon as possible. Where the Staff member’s Manager is not contactable, advising another Staff member in the Staff member’s work team will suffice.
Use of personal/carers leave57.9 Personal/carers leave will be granted to a Staff member by their Manager, subject to available credits for the following reasons:
- where the Staff member is not fit for work because of a personal illness or injury affecting the Staff member;
- to provide care or support to a member of the Staff member’s immediate family or the Staff member’s household, who requires care or support because of a personal illness or personal injury, affecting the member;
- where a member of the Staff member’s immediate family or the Staff member’s household is affected by an unexpected emergency;
- for compelling personal reasons, including family responsibilities; or
- to attend preventative health consultations for the Staff member and/or those in the Staff member’s care.
Family responsibilities57.10 For the purposes of personal/carers leave, ‘family responsibilities’ shall mean responsibilities of the Staff member for any person who is clearly dependent on the Staff member for care, support and attention.
Public holidays during leave57.11 Where a public holiday occurs in a period of personal leave, the public holiday will not be deducted from the Staff member’s personal leave credits.
Satisfactory evidence57.12 Satisfactory evidence means:
- a certificate from a relevant health/medical practitioner confirming a Staff member, or a member of their family for whom they have caring responsibility, has a personal illness or injury which prevents the Staff member from performing their duties; or
- a statutory declaration confirming a Staff member, or a member of their family for whom they have caring responsibility, has a personal illness or injury which prevents the Staff member from performing their duties; or
- for the purposes of clauses 57.9(c) and 57.9(d) a statutory declaration setting out the reason for the absence; or
- a medical treatment schedule or a medical certificate for an ongoing medical condition of the Staff member, or a member of their family for whom they have caring responsibility, which cover absences for the treatment, or absences caused by the condition within a period of three months; or
- other evidence which the Secretary determines is satisfactory.
57.14 Satisfactory evidence from registered health practitioners will be accepted for the purpose of personal illness or injury, unless the department has sought independent medical advice resulting in a different diagnosis and/or prognosis.
57.15 A Staff member will provide satisfactory evidence to support applications for personal/carers leave for more than three consecutive days.
57.16 If a Staff member takes 10 days personal/carers leave without satisfactory evidence in a period of twelve months, then the Staff member must provide satisfactory evidence for any further applications for personal/carers leave of any duration for the balance of the period of 12 months, unless otherwise determined by the Secretary.
57.17 For the purpose of this clause, the period of 12 months is the 12 month period commencing on the anniversary date of the Staff member’s commencement of employment with the department.
57.18 Satisfactory evidence must be provided within 24 hours of the Staff member’s return to work or another period that is reasonable in the circumstances.
Conversion to half pay57.19 The Secretary may approve the conversion of personal/carers leave to half pay for a Staff member for a specified absence of not less than two days.
Unpaid personal/carers leave57.20 Where paid personal/carers leave credits are exhausted, a Staff member may apply for personal/carers leave without pay. Continuous unpaid personal/carers leave to a total of 26 weeks will count as service for all purposes. Any further continuous periods of unpaid personal/carers leave will not count as service except for long service leave purposes.
Termination of employment - invalidity retirement57.21 A Staff member’s employment will not be terminated on invalidity grounds without the Staff member’s consent before the Staff member’s paid personal/carers leave credit has expired.
Reappointment after invalidity retirement57.22 If a Staff member’s APS employment is terminated on the grounds of invalidity, and the Staff member is subsequently re-engaged as a result of action taken under the relevant superannuation legislation, the Staff member is entitled to be credited with personal/carers leave equal to the balance of the Staff member’s personal/carers leave at the time of termination.
Use of personal/carers leave during other forms of leave57.23 A Staff member who is medically unfit or is required to undertake carer’s responsibilities for more than one day while on annual leave or long service leave and who produce satisfactory medical evidence may apply for personal/carers leave. Annual leave and long service leave will be re-credited to the extent of the period of personal/carers leave granted.
57.24 A Staff member is unable to access personal/carers leave while on paid parental leave.
Payment on termination57.25 Unused personal/carers leave will not be paid out on termination of employment.
Top of page
58. Miscellaneous leave58.1 The intention of miscellaneous leave is to provide flexibility to Managers and Staff by providing leave that may be made available, either with or without pay, for a variety of purposes.
58.2 Miscellaneous leave may be granted by the Secretary, having regard to the operational needs of the department, including for purposes that the Secretary considers to be in the interests of the department.
58.3 Leave may be granted:
a) for the period requested or for another period;
b) with or without pay; and
c) subject to conditions.
Leave with pay58.4 Miscellaneous leave with pay may be granted by the Secretary in, but not limited to, the following circumstances:
- participation in major international sporting events;
- moving house;
- attendance at Fair Work Australia proceedings arising from industrial disputation;
- jury duty;
- attendance at short courses which do not fall within the internal and external learning and development frameworks;
- attendance at industrial proceedings when summonsed as a witness;
- for short term volunteer purposes.
Extraordinary circumstances58.6 Where exceptional circumstances affect a Staff member, the Secretary will consider granting paid leave. These circumstances may include but are not limited to, emergency situations such as bushfires, floods, cyclones and earthquake.
Leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff58.7 The department recognises the obligations placed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff to participate in ceremonial activities and other cultural obligations. To allow Staff to meet obligations and participate in activities, the following leave provisions are provided:
- two days leave with pay each year to participate in NAIDOC Week activities or other cultural or ceremonial events under the miscellaneous leave provisions; and
- three months unpaid leave each year under the miscellaneous leave provisions to fulfil cultural obligations; this leave will not count as service for any purpose.
Leave without pay58.8 The Secretary may grant miscellaneous leave without pay for, but not limited to, the following circumstances:
- personal and development training where academic studies are undertaken;
- cultural or ceremonial or NAIDOC leave to Staff for a recognised cultural activity;
- accompanying a partner on a posting;
- non APS employment which is in the interests of the department;
- long term volunteer purposes;
- other purposes where other types of paid leave may have been exhausted.
Not to count as service58.9 Miscellaneous leave without pay will not count for service for any purpose with the following exceptions:
- leave for personal and development training in the interests of the department;
- leave for non APS employment in the interests of the department.
58.11 On return to duty, leave credits will be calculated based on the period that is recognised as service. In the case of personal/carers leave, an assumed usage of five days per year for the period of absence will be applied.
59. Unauthorised absences59.1 Periods of unauthorised absence do not count as service for any purpose. Where a Staff member is absent from duty without approval, all pay and other benefits provided under the Agreement (eg flextime) will cease to be available until the Staff member resumes duty or is granted leave. Where flextime no longer applies, the Staff member will revert to the Standard Day.
59.2 Further information on miscellaneous leave is available in the departmental Leave Guidelines.
60. War service sick leave60.1 Eligible Staff will generally be granted war service sick leave while unfit for duty because of a war-caused condition.
60.2 A war-caused condition means an injury or disease of a Staff member that has been determined under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 to be war-caused or defence-caused.
60.3 Eligible Staff will accrue a credit of nine weeks on commencement in the APS and an annual credit of three weeks for each year of APS service. Unused credits will accumulate to a maximum of nine weeks.
Top of page
61. Compassionate leave61.1 Staff, other than casual Staff, will be granted two days paid compassionate leave on each occasion that a member of the Staff member’s family, or the Staff member’s household:
- contracts or develops a personal illness that poses a serious threat to the Staff member’s life; or
- sustains a personal injury that poses a serious threat to the Staff member’s life; or
61.3 The Staff member’s Manager may require the Staff member to provide evidence of the illness, injury or death in support of the request for leave.
61.4 A casual Staff member is entitled to unpaid compassionate leave of up to two days per occurrence and is not eligible for paid bereavement leave under clause 61.5.
Bereavement leave61.5 The Staff member’s Manager will grant three days leave with pay to a Staff member other than a casual Staff member on the occasion of the death of a member of the Staff member’s family or household, close friend, partner or a person who was clearly dependent on the Staff member for care, support and attention. Any further periods of leave for this purpose may be granted as miscellaneous leave with pay on a case by case basis.
62. Purchased leave62.1 To assist Staff members in balancing work and life responsibilities, the department provides a scheme where additional leave may be purchased. Purchasing additional leave is not intended to be used to establish a different work pattern such as a regular reduction in weekly hours.
62.2 Where a Manager agrees that a Staff member may participate in the purchased leave scheme, the Staff member may purchase from one to six weeks purchased leave per year. Leave, once purchased, shall generally be taken in multiple days.
To count for service62.3 Purchased leave will count for service for all purposes. The Staff member’s salary for superannuation purposes continues to be their salary as if they had not purchased leave.
62.4 Further information about purchased leave is available in the departmental Leave Guideline.
63. Extended purchased leave63.1 When a Staff member has accrued a period of three years of continuous employment with the department, they may apply for access to extended purchased leave.
63.2 A period of up to six months absence on extended purchased leave will be available following a further two years of continuous employment with the department (during which time the Staff member will accrue the leave).
Not to count for service63.3 Extended purchased leave will not count as service for any purpose.
63.4 Further information regarding extended purchased leave is available in the departmental Extended Purchase Leave Guideline.
Top of page
64. Leave for ADF Reserve and Continuous Full Time Service(The entitlement to leave for Reserve Service is prescribed under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001)
64.1 A Staff member may be granted leave (with or without pay) to enable the Staff member to fulfil Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve and Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS) or Cadet Force obligations.
64.2 A Staff member is entitled to ADF Reserve leave with pay, for up to four weeks during each financial year for the purpose of fulfilling service in the ADF Reserve. These purposes include training and operational duty as required:
- During the Staff member's first year of ADF Reserve service, a further two weeks paid leave may be granted to facilitate participation in additional ADF Reserve training, including induction requirements.
- With the exception of the additional two weeks in the first year of service, leave can be accumulated and taken over a period of two years, to enable the Staff member to undertake training as a member of the ADF Reserves.
- Staff are not required to pay their tax free ADF Reserve salary to the department in any circumstances.
64.4 Defence Reserve leave counts as service for all purposes, except for unpaid leave to undertake CFTS. Unpaid leave for the purpose of CFTS counts for all purposes except annual leave.
64.5 Eligible Staff may also apply for annual leave, long service leave, leave without pay, top-up pay or they may use flextime for the purpose of fulfilling ADF Reserve or CFTS obligations.
64.6 Staff are to notify their Manager at the earliest opportunity once the dates for ADF Reserve or CFTS activities are known and/or changed.
65. Community service leave65.1 An eligible community service activity includes:
- Jury service (including attendance for the purpose of jury selection) that is required by or under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory; or
- Carrying out a volunteer emergency management activity (within the meaning of section 109 (2) of the FW Act).
- the period consists of one or more of the following:
- where the activity is emergency management, the absence is due to:
- unless the activity is jury service – the Staff member’s absence is reasonable in all the circumstances.
i. time when the Staff member engages in the activity;
ii. reasonable travelling time associated with the activity;
iii. reasonable rest time immediately following the activity.
i. regular training;
ii. all emergency service responses;
iii. reasonable rest time immediately following the activity; and
iv. attendance at ceremonial duties
66. Long service leave66.1 Long service leave (LSL) will accrue and be available to eligible Staff in accordance with the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976. Absences must be taken for a minimum of seven consecutive calendar days (at full or half pay) with the granting of such leave subject to operational requirements.
66.2 LSL cannot be broken with any other leave, including absences on flex leave, Christmas close down or public holidays except as provided for by the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 and the personal/carers leave provisions of the Agreement.
Top of page
67. Parental leave
Maternity leave67.1 Maternity leave is available to a Staff member for her absence from the workplace on the birth of her child/children.
67.2 Staff covered by this Agreement will be entitled to maternity leave under the terms of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973, including access to paid leave for the first 12 weeks of maternity leave for eligible Staff. Provisions of the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 and the Fair Work Act 2009 may also apply.
Mandatory period of maternity leave at half pay67.3 At the Staff member’s request, the Secretary will approve spreading the payment for the period of absence over a maximum period of 24 continuous weeks at a rate no less than half normal pay. The additional period of paid leave beyond the mandatory absence of 12 weeks specified in the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 will not count as service for any purpose.
Additional leave67.4 An eligible Staff member will also receive an additional two weeks paid leave to be taken immediately following the mandatory period of maternity leave provided for under the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973. The Secretary will approve spreading the additional period over four weeks at a rate no less than half normal pay, however, leave that extends beyond two weeks does not count for service for any purpose.
Additional unpaid parental leave67.5 A Staff member who has completed at least 12 months of continuous service with the APS immediately before making an application for twelve months unpaid parental leave (the first period) to care for a new born or newly adopted or foster child may request, at the completion of the first period, an additional period of unpaid parental leave of up to 12 months in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009.
67.6 Taking unpaid parental leave does not prevent an eligible Staff member from accessing other types of paid leave (other than paid personal/carer’s leave, compassionate/bereavement leave and community service leave) in accordance with the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973. If the Staff member does so, the taking of the other paid leave does not break the continuity of the period of unpaid parental leave.
67.7 Unpaid parental leave does not count as service for any purpose. Further information on parental leave is available in the Leave Guideline.
Special maternity leave67.8 Where a Staff member who has at least 12 months continuous service with the APS experiences a pregnancy related illness, or if her pregnancy ends within 28 weeks of the expected birth, she will be granted paid personal leave for any period of leave supported by a medical certificate. If personal leave credits are exhausted, the remainder of leave will be unpaid in accordance with section 80 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Unpaid special maternity leave will count as service for all purposes
67.9 Special maternity leave will operate in conjunction with entitlements under the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973.
Parental (partner) leave
67.10 Within 12 months of the birth, fostering or adoption of a child, a Staff member who is the child’s non-primary care giver and stands in a domestic or household relationship with the child is entitled to be granted four weeks paid parental leave, and unpaid miscellaneous leave up to a total absence of 52 weeks.
67.11 The Secretary may approve leave for a non-primary care giver not residing with the child.
67.12 The Secretary may approve spreading the period of paid leave over a maximum period of eight continuous weeks at a rate no less than half normal pay; leave that extends beyond four weeks does not count as service for any purpose.
Return to work after parental leave67.13 On ending parental, maternity, adoption or foster leave, a Staff member is entitled to recommence the Staff member’s previous duties in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.
Adoption or foster leave67.14 Within 12 months of the adoption or fostering of a child by a Staff member with 12 months or more continuous service in the APS, who will be the primary care giver, will receive 14 weeks at full pay for the purpose of adopting or a long-term and full-time foster care of a child up to the age of 16, and unpaid leave up to a total period of 52 weeks. The paid leave may commence up to two weeks prior to assuming responsibility for the child.
67.15 The adopted or foster child must not be a child or step-child of the Staff member or the Staff member’s partner unless that child had not been in the custody and care of the Staff member or the Staff member’s partner for a significant period.
67.16 The Secretary will approve spreading the period of paid leave over a maximum period of 28 continuous weeks at a rate no less than half normal pay.
67.17 Where a Staff member elects to take paid adoption or fostering leave at half pay, a maximum of 14 weeks counts as service for all purposes.
67.18 The provisions of clauses 67.10 to 67.17 also apply to a child who is subject to a permanent care order made by an Australian court or under Australian legislation.
67.19 For the purposes of this clause, ‘continuous service’ has the same meaning as eligible service recognised under the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973.
Pre adoption leave67.20 Staff in the process of adopting or fostering of a child may take up to two days paid leave to attend any interviews or examinations required to obtain adoption or foster care approval.
Top of page