Leave - Personal

Leave - Personal

SUMMARY

The Personal Leave Policy and Procedure establish the principles relating all types of personal leave, including special leave and leave without pay, and the steps associated with accessing personal leave.

POLICY

PurposeTo detail the principles related to all types of personal leave, including special leave and leave without pay.

Overview

The personal leave policy provides information for all staff members to establish their eligibility and entitlement to personal leave.

DEFINITIONS
Family Member includes:
  • Child (including an adult child, adopted child, foster child or stepchild)
  • Spouse or partner (including same sex partner, de facto partner or former spouse or partner)
  • Parent, parent-in-law, foster parent or parent who stands in that place
  • Grandparent or grandchild
  • Sibling
  • Traditional kinship relation
  • A person who stands in a bona fide domestic or household relationship with the staff member in which there is inferred some dependency or support role for the staff member.
In addition to the above, for the purpose of bereavement leave, family member shall include:
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Siblings-in-law
Paid Personal Leave includes:
  • Sick Leave - illness, injury or incapacity of the staff member (not arising out of employment)
  • Other Personal Leave - care of a family member (illness or injury or arising out of unexpected circumstances), compassionate grounds / bereavement, moving to a new residence or community volunteering
Special Leave:  additional paid leave that may be granted for compassionate or extraordinary circumstances.

Scope

This policy applies to all eligible staff employed at Macquarie University.

It will be of particular relevance to all continuing and fixed-term staff members employed under the relevant industrial instrument.

Casual staff members are not entitled to paid personal leave.

Policy

ELIGIBILITY
The eligibility for personal leave is prescribed by the relevant industrial instrument and this Policy.

To be eligible for personal leave, a staff member is required to satisfy the requirements of reasonable notice and supporting documentation as prescribed in this Policy.

ENTITLEMENT
  • Full-time Staff Members Full-time staff members will be credited with an entitlement of 350 hours (ten weeks - seven weeks for sick leave and three weeks for other personal leave) on date of commencement.
  • Part-time Staff MembersPart-time staff members will be credited with, and accrue paid personal leave on a proportionate basis.
  • Casual Staff Members
  • Casual staff members will not be entitled to paid personal leave.

Staff members will accrue an additional 105 hours (three weeks – two weeks for sick leave and one week for other personal leave) of paid personal leave per annum (proportionate for part-time staff members) from the date on which the staff member received the initial credit of personal leave.

Personal leave accrues up to a maximum of 1820 hours (52 weeks).

CONDITIONS
A staff member is required to advise their supervisor or another senior member of the work area as soon as practicable of the following:
  • that they are unable to work
  • the period of leave or expected period of leave.

A staff member is not entitled to the leave if they fail to provide notice (as soon as practicable).  

Where a staff member exhausts their entitlement to either sick leave or other personal leave they will be able to access whatever accrual they have available for the other form of personal leave.

Personal leave may be taken for periods of one hour or greater.

SICK LEAVE
Staff members are entitled to take paid sick leave when they are unable to attend work due to personal (as opposed to work-related) illness, injury or incapacity, sufficient to permit them to recover.

Paid sick leave is not available if a staff member is receiving workers’ compensation payments in respect of their absence.

Where a staff member becomes ill, injured or incapacitated whilst on a period of annual leave, the staff member will be entitled to payment of personal leave in accordance with the University’s Annual Leave Policy.

OTHER PERSONAL LEAVE
Family/Carer Responsibilities
Personal leave is available where a staff member is unable to attend work because of family/carer responsibilities. Such responsibilities may include:
  • caring for a family member who is ill or incapacitated
  • temporary and unexpected absence of the usual carer, such as the unexpected closure of a child’s school, or
  • an unexpected emergency.

The approval of personal leave is subject to a staff member being responsible for the care of the family member concerned.

Staff members cannot take personal leave where another person is responsible for the care of the same family member, unless a staff member can demonstrate a genuine need.

Staff members may access alternative employment arrangements provided for in the relevant industrial instrument or policy, to assist with the management of longer term family responsibilities.

Compassionate or Bereavement Leave
Where a family member has a serious illness, injury or dies, a staff member may access personal leave for the purpose of:
  • attending to the person
  • making arrangements for and/or attending the funeral, and/or
  • attending to personal or other arrangements after the funeral.

A staff member may access a maximum of five days personal leave per occasion.

Moving to a New Residence
Staff members may access personal leave to remove their household property and move to a new residence that is not related to their place of work.

In ordinary circumstances, personal leave will be limited to one day unless a staff member can demonstrate a genuine need for leave in excess of the one day entitlement.

Staff members are expected to provide reasonable notice to their supervisor.

Community Volunteering
The University will support a continuing staff member’s participation in volunteer activities with authorised organisations and groups in the community by:
  • providing up to 2 days of paid personal leave each Calendar year
  • working in collaboration with authorised organisations and groups in the community to ensure that volunteering projects are meaningful and productive for both parties.

Leave taken under this category will be deducted from the staff member’s personal leave balance.

To assist with organisational demands, staff members are required to discuss with their supervisor their intentions for accessing volunteer leave. The community volunteering activity must fall on a work day.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Public holidays will be paid where they fall within a period of approved personal leave.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
A supervisor is entitled to request supporting documentation that would substantiate the reason for the absence.

A staff member is required to provide supporting documentation for absences as follows:
  • Medical Certificate
    A staff member applying for personal leave in excess of four working days will be required to provide a medical certificate or other supporting documentation to justify the absence. Where the medical certificate states that the staff member is unfit to perform their duties, the University will consider and where reasonably appropriate act on the medical advice relating to the staff member’s illness, injury or incapacity for the prescribed period.
  • Early Return to Work
    Where a staff member is able to return to duties before the date specified by the medical advice, the staff member may be required to provide medical evidence that they are fit to return to duties. In the absence of such advice, the staff member will be granted personal leave for the full period.
  • Community Volunteering A supervisor may request supporting documentation from a staff member.

A staff member is not entitled to personal leave if they fail to provide supporting documentation (when requested) that would satisfy a reasonable person. In this instance, the absence will be classified as leave without pay unless the staff member applies for, and is granted, an alternative form of leave.

The University reserves the right to require supporting documentation additional to that which is defined within this Policy.

MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
Personal leave is not to be used for routine or scheduled medical appointments for a staff member or a family member. The only exception is where the medical appointment is directly related to a staff member’s absence due to illness, injury or incapacity.

A staff member is required to either apply for annual leave or access their variable hours (where the staff member has a debit balance) or agree with their supervisor to make up the time for these absences.

SPECIAL LEAVE
The granting of special leave is at the absolute discretion of the University and is only available after all other paid leave is exhausted. Any exception will require the approval of the Executive Dean / Head of Office.

Special leave will be granted for a maximum period of four weeks at any one time and requires the approval of the Director, Human Resources.

Supervisors are required to assist staff members by:
  • considering and, where appropriate, approving alternative leave entitlements
  • utilising flexible work arrangements in combination with personal leave entitlements.

PAYMENT
The personal leave and special leave payment will be equal to the ordinary rate of pay that a staff member would have received if they had worked during the period of leave.

LEAVE WITHOUT PAY
In all cases, applications for leave without pay will be considered by taking into account the:
  • staff member’s circumstances, and
  • University’s operational requirements.

Leave without pay is not an entitlement and will be subject to the convenience of the University.

It is expected that a staff member will have exhausted all available paid leave entitlements, before applying for leave without pay.

Public holidays will not be paid where they fall within a period of approved leave without pay.

CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
All paid leave will count as service for the purpose of leave accrual, length of service and incremental progression.

When a period (or periods) of leave without pay exceeds in aggregate 15 working days for full-time staff members (pro-rata for part-time staff members), the increment date will be delayed by a period equivalent to the whole period of leave without pay.

When a period (or periods) of leave without pay exceeds in aggregate  15 working days for full-time staff members (pro-rata for part-time staff members) in any calendar year, the period of absence from duty will not be counted as service for the accrual of annual leave in that period. Entitlements to annual leave loading will be adjusted in the same way.

When a period (or periods) of leave without pay exceeds an aggregate of six months, the excess over six months will not be counted as service in determining the total service for long service leave purposes.

EXCESSIVE ABSENTEEISM
The University will manage personal leave in a fair manner that takes into account the circumstances of a staff member’s absences.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
The University may consider reasonable accommodation for a staff member’s incapacity due to personal circumstances. This will be done in consultation with the staff member, their supervisor and the treating medical practitioner(s).

Arrangements for reasonable accommodation are intended to facilitate a safe and durable return to full duties and will be offered on a temporary basis only.

Reasonable accommodation may include flexible hours of work, varied hours of work, alternative duties or physical limitations/restrictions, subject to the convenience of the University.

COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this policy applies breaches this policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerManager, Employee Relations, Human Resources Section
Date Approved2 February 2011
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement2 February 2011
Amendment HistoryJuly 2012 – correction to confirm that scope includes academic staff
January 2012 – clarification to community volunteering requirements
October 2011 - updated to incorporate the requirements of the Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement 2010 and the Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement 2011; inclusion of compliance and breaches statement.
February 2011 – alignment with new Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement 2010
Date for Next ReviewFebruary 2014
Related Documents

Annual Leave Policy
Leave without Pay Procedure
Personal Leave Procedure
Special Leave Procedure

Fair Work Ombudsman – Notice and Evidence
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement
Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy Personal Leave Policy approved 4 May 2007.
KeywordsPersonal, Illness, Injury, Incapacity, Family/Carer Responsibilities, Special, Leave without Pay, Continuity of Service, Compassionate or Bereavement, Medical Appointments, Moving to New Residence, Volunteering, Volunteer, Community

PROCEDURE

PurposeTo detail the steps and responsibilities associated with accessing personal leave.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following:
  • Human Resources Officer
  • Medical Certificate Officer
  • Staff member
  • Supervisor

Staff Member

PERSONAL LEAVE
Notify
Notify your supervisor (or other authorised person) within your work unit as soon as practicable, indicating:
  • the reason(s) for your absence, and
  • the estimated duration of your absence

If due to illness, you leave work without notifying your supervisor, you must notify them at the earliest opportunity.

In either of the above circumstances, if you need to extend the original notified absence, you must do so as soon as practicable.

ApplyApply for personal leave (as soon as practicable) by submitting an application via HR Online. If HR Online is unavailable or inaccessible staff members should notify their supervisor to discuss alternative arrangements.

Supervisor

Review Personal Leave Application
Receive notification (via email from HR Online) of the staff member’s application. Review the personal leave application and supporting documentation to ensure accuracy and consistency with University policy.

In consultation with the staff member, address and resolve any problems identified in the application.

Make a decision about the staff member’s leave within five days of receiving the application.

Approve
Approve request via HR Online. HR Online notifies the staff member via e-mail that the leave has been approved.

Decline
Decline request via HR Online. HR Online notifies the staff member via email that the leave has been declined. The leave will then need to be processed as Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay. Discuss the reason for the decision with the staff member.

PAYMENT
Pending the receipt of a completed HR Online application, and supporting documentation, you may instruct Human Resources (HR) to suspend payments to the staff member.

In circumstances where a Personal Leave request has been declined, you may instruct HR to process the leave as Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
Send the Medical Certificate to the Medical Certificate Officer within the Faculty/Office.

Medical Certificate Officer

File all Medical Certificates in a secure area within the Faculty/Office.

Human Resources Officer

Collect the Medical Certificates from the Medical Certificate Officers in February and August each year.

Supervisor

EXCESSIVE ABSENTEEISM
Where a staff member has a recent pattern of absences without supporting documentation, conduct an interview with the staff member. More than five unsupported absences within a 12 month period are sufficient to initiate an interview.

Specify a period of time for improvement and advise the staff member that there may be consequences for continuing a pattern of unsupported absenteeism.

Where a pattern or an increase in unsupported absences is identified, you may direct the staff member to provide supporting documentation for all absences for a specified and reasonable period of time.

Where the staff member fails to provide supporting documentation for unsupported absenteeism, you may refer the matter to HR for assistance.
Staff MemberREASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
Notify your supervisor in writing of your request for reasonable accommodation.
SupervisorRefer this matter to HR for assistance.

Human
Resources Officer

Liaise with the staff member, their supervisor and the treating medical practitioner(s) to obtain the relevant information necessary for the University to consider whether reasonable accommodation would be appropriate in the circumstances.

For the purpose of releasing medical information directly to the University, you may ask the staff member to complete an Information Consent Form available from the Health and Safety Unit. This information relates to the staff member’s request for reasonable accommodation in negotiation with the supervisor and treating medical
professional(s).

The staff member may change this authority at anytime by writing to HR, however the staff member’s request for reasonable accommodation may be affected.

Upon receipt of the necessary and relevant medical information, arrange a meeting with the staff member, their supervisor and other relevant parties to discuss how the University may reasonably accommodate the staff member’s circumstance.

In all cases, consider reasonable accommodation by taking account of the:
  • staff member’s circumstances, and
  • University’s operational requirements, including the capacity to ensure a duty of care for the health and safety of the staff member at the workplace
Where there is agreement, the parties document and sign the Reasonable Accommodation Agreement (RAA) to include the following:
  • references to the relevant supporting documentation
  • review dates
  • duration of the RAA
  • hours/days of work
  • rest breaks
  • any physical limitations/restrictions of the staff   member
  • how the staff member will be paid during the period  of the RAA, and
  • any other relevant information

Forward a copy of the RAA to the staff member’s medical practitioner for review and comment and maintain a copy on the staff member’s staff record.

Provide a copy to the staff member and supervisor.

Process wage and leave payments in accordance with the RAA.

Review
Review the arrangements for reasonable accommodation frequently, until such time as the staff member has resumed full duties. The parties will apply the appropriate steps above, in the review process.

Where reasonable accommodation is not appropriate or appears unlikely to assist the staff member to resume full duties, proceed under the provisions for termination on the grounds of illnessin accordance with the Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement.

Staff Member

MOVING TO A NEW RESIDENCE
Apply
Apply for moving leave (as soon as practicable) by submitting an application via HR Online. If HR Online is unavailable or inaccessible staff members should notify their supervisor to discuss alternative arrangements.

Update your residential address in HR Online.

Supervisor

Review Moving Leave Application
Receive notification (via email from HR Online) of the staff member’s application. Review the moving leave application to ensure accuracy and consistency with the entitlement as described in the Personal Leave Policy.

Approve
Approve request via HR Online. HR Online notifies the staff member via email that the leave has been approved.

Decline Decline request via HR Online. HR Online notifies the staff member via e-mail that the leave has been declined. The leave will then need to be processed as Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay. Discuss the reason for the decision with the staff member.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerManager, Employee Relations, Human Resources Section
Date Approved2 February 2011
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement2 February 2011
Amendment HistoryOctober 2011 - Updated to incorporate the requirements of the Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement 2010 and the Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement 2011
Date for Next ReviewFebruary 2014
Related Documents

Leave without Pay Procedure
Personal Leave Policy
Special Leave Procedure
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement

HR Online
KeywordsNotification, Personal, Illness, Injury, Incapacity, Special, Leave Without Pay, Reasonable Accommodation
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