Community Service & Emergency Services Leave Policy
1. Background Information
This policy has been developed in support of the provision for community service leave for staff at ACU, including emergency services leave.
2. Policy Statement
The University recognises that from time to time staff may be involved in community activities as outlined in this policy, and the University provides staff with paid leave to participate in these activities.
3. Policy Purpose
This policy informs staff members of their entitlement to community service leave and its application at ACU.
4. Application of Policy
4.1 This policy applies to all continuing and fixed term staff of the University. Staff members engaged for a specific fraction of a full-time appointment are entitled to the amount of leave available on a pro-rata basis relative to that staff member’s fraction of employment.
Community service leave encompasses leave for community duties including:
court appearances (where the staff member has been subpoenaed to appear as a witness for the Crown);
fire fighting and emergency assistance;
volunteer in a Governmental declared state of emergency;
leave to contest elections;
attendance at arbitration proceedings; and
community service contributions including representation at major cultural, social and sporting events.
4.2 A staff member is entitled to access up to 5 days per annum of community service leave, when the activity falls on the staff member’s normal day of work. Community service leave is not cumulative.
4.3 Where a staff member provides appropriate documentation, community service leave for a period greater than 5 days per annum may be approved in certain circumstances. The merits of the proposed community service will be taken into consideration, as will the requirements of the University.
4.4 Emergency Services Leave: A staff member who is a member of any voluntary organisation (e.g. a rural fire service or state emergency service in their state or territory) and who is called upon by the Government or a competent, relevant authority under a state of emergency, state emergency plan or state disaster management plan (or equivalent) to assist in fire-fighting or other forms of emergency assistance (including auxiliary operations) is entitled to up to 20 days of paid leave for the duration of their participation. This is provided that the staff member’s services are actually required by the voluntary organisation or other recognised authority concerned, and this can be confirmed in writing by the Government or authority.
4.5 Where a staff member provides appropriate documentation, emergency services leave for a period greater than 20 days may be approved in certain circumstances, on either an individual or ACU-wide basis. The merits of the proposed community service will be taken into consideration, as will the requirements of the University.
A staff member granted community service leave to attend an emergency service activity (including emergency services leave), is also entitled to a further one day of paid leave on completion of the service for the purpose of recovering from such activity.
4.6 A staff member who receives a payment in relation to any activity for which community service leave has been granted will forward this payment to the University. In such circumstances the staff member may retain any out-of-pocket expenses associated with travel and subsistence.
4.7 If community service leave is taken during a period of authorised paid leave (e.g. annual, long service leave), the period of authorised leave in question will be re- credited to the staff member subject to the University being furnished with evidence of community service.
An application for community service leave is submitted for approval by the appropriate delegated officer. Information on delegated officers for leave approvals is available in the relevant Delegations of Authority Policy and Register.
A staff member should submit an application for community service leave using the Staff Connect facility and indicating the type of community service leave requested. Supporting documentation such as a jury or court summons, a statement from the relevant emergency authority or other relevant documentation must be included with the leave application for the supervisor to check and approve.
If approved, the nominated supervisor will approve the leave request via Staff Connect, which will workflow to Human Resources. If not approved, the nominated supervisor must advise the staff member of the decision.
7. Revisions made to this Policy
Major, Minor or Editorial
21 November 2018
Updated to include new ACU brand template and Service Central update for further assistance.
21 January 2020
Updated to provide up to 20 days of paid emergency services leave.
The University may make changes to this policy and procedures from time to time to assist statutory compliance and or to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about this policy may forward their suggestions to Human Resources.
8. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this policy should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.