- Background Information
- Policy Statement
- Policy Purpose
- Application of Policy
- Annual Leave
- Annual Leave Loading
- Policy Review
- Further Assistance
1. Background Information
This Policy explains arrangements for Recreation Leave at Australian Catholic University (ACU).
2. Policy Statement
Recreation Leave is the term used at ACU to encompass:
- Annual Leave,
- University Holidays (the period covered by the University declared annual Christmas closedown), and
- Public Holidays.
Recreation leave is intended to assist staff to achieve work-life balance.
Staff have entitlements to recreation leave, and are encouraged to take annual leave regularly and at least each year. Staff and supervisors are responsible for annual leave planning and management and should work together to avoid high annual leave balances. A staff member may be directed to take annual leave if their annual leave balance exceeds 40 days (or pro rata for part-time and fractional).
3. Policy Purpose
This Policy informs staff members of their entitlements to Recreation Leave and its application at ACU. In particular the Policy provides details of arrangements for annual leave including:
- planning for and taking annual leave;
- management of excess annual leave and directing staff to take annual leave;
- cash out of annual leave;
- purchase of additional annual leave;
- payment of annual leave on termination of employment; and
- payment of annual leave loading.
4. Application of Policy
4.1 This Policy applies to all continuing and fixed term staff of the University.
4.2 Staff engaged on fractional basis (i.e. for a fixed number of weeks in the year) are entitled to:
- Public and University Holidays that fall within the periods that they work; and
- annual leave which will, unless otherwise agreed with the nominated supervisor, be taken during the periods of the year when they are not required to attend work to perform their duties. These periods of time will normally be outside the teaching period for Academic Staff members.
4.3 Staff engaged on a part-time basis (i.e. for a fixed number of hours per fortnight which is less than full-time) are entitled to Public Holidays that fall on their normal working days.
4.4 Recreation Leave consists of:
Minimum of ten (10) Public Holidays per annum as observed in each State or Territory to be taken on the day gazetted by the relevant State or Territory authority.
National Public Holidays:
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- New Year’s Day
- Australia Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- ANZAC Day
- Queen’s Birthday
- Labour Day
Local Public Holidays:
- Grand Final Friday (VIC)
- Melbourne Cup (VIC)
- Ballarat Cup or Ballarat Show Day (VIC) – whichever is first gazetted as a Public Holiday
- Queensland Show Day (QLD)
- Canberra Day (ACT)
- Family and Community Day (ACT)
- Adelaide Cup Day (SA)
- Bank Holiday (NSW) – to be taken in conjunction with the annual Christmas closedown
Twenty (20) working days annual leave per annum (pro rata for part-time and fractional staff). See section 5 of this Policy.
Three (3) University Holidays are declared each year and taken in conjunction with the annual Christmas closedown. The University Holidays occur on days which are not covered by a gazetted Public or Declared Holiday.
5. Annual Leave
Staff members are entitled to annual leave on full pay accruing at the rate of 20 working days (or pro rata) for each completed paid year of service from the date of their commencement. Annual leave accrues at the rate of 1.66 (recurring) days per month (or pro rata), provided the staff member is not absent on unpaid leave which does not count as service (for example under the University’s Leave Without Pay Policy and/or Parental Leave Policy).
Where a Public Holiday occurs during the period a staff member is absent on annual leave and such Holiday is observed on the relevant campus, no deduction will be made for that day from the annual leave credits of the staff member.
5.2 Planning for Annual Leave
Annual leave balances and plans will be discussed as part of the annual Performance Review and Planning (PRP) process.
For Academic Staff, annual leave plans will be discussed as part of workload planning and allocation. The full annual academic workload allocation 1595 hours assumes that an Academic Staff member will take their accrued annual leave for the calendar year. Where all accrued annual leave for a calendar year is not taken, the hours equivalent to the untaken annual leave are available to be assigned as workload hours for other academic activities in accordance with the Academic Workload Policy.
5.3 Applying for and taking Annual Leave
Staff apply for annual leave via Staff Connect. The time(s) of taking annual leave will normally be by mutual agreement between the staff member and their nominated supervisor and the following principles will apply:
- the authorising of annual leave during a particular period will be subject to the operational and service provision requirements of the particular work unit and embargo periods (refer to section 5.4 of this Policy);
- the staff member will provide reasonable notice of requests for annual leave;
- annual leave will normally be cleared within 52 weeks of the date on which the staff member becomes entitled to such leave;
- for staff on fixed-term appointments, all annual leave will normally be taken within the period of the appointment, unless the relevant member of the Executive approves a recommendation from the nominated supervisor that the staff member cannot be released in order to clear part of, or all of, their leave during the term of the appointment;
- each staff member and the nominated supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that a staff member’s annual leave accumulation remains below 40 days (or pro rata);
- where a staff member’s annual leave balance has reached 40 days (or pro rata), they may be given a direction to take annual leave (refer to section 5.6 of this Policy).
A nominated supervisor must not unreasonably refuse to approve a staff member’s request to take an amount of annual leave.
If a staff member and their nominated supervisor are unable to agree upon the time of taking of annual leave, the matter will be referred to the member of the Executive responsible for the unit in which the staff member works.
Where a staff member makes an application for annual leave and they do not have sufficient annual leave to cover the period, the period in excess of the current annual leave balance may be taken as Leave Without Pay.
5.4 Embargo Periods
Leave may not normally be approved during an embargo period(s). An embargo period may apply when there are operational requirements identified by the manager of an organisational unit. Staff members should be advised of such embargo periods normally two (2) months in advance with one month’s notice given of any variations.
Annual leave will normally be outside the teaching period for academic staff.
5.5 Annual Leave and illness
Where a staff member is ill or incapacitated for two (2) or more consecutive working days while on annual leave the staff member will be placed on Personal (Sick) Leave (where available), provided that a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner or a statutory declaration by the staff member is submitted for the period of the illness. No deduction shall be made from annual leave credits for the days to which the certificate or declaration relates.
5.6 Management of Excess Annual Leave – Direction to take Annual Leave
When a staff member’s annual leave exceeds forty (40) days (or pro rata), the nominated supervisor is entitled to direct that staff member to take ten (10) days annual leave to reduce the annual leave balance to below thirty (30) days by a specified date.
The direction must be given in writing and copied to the Human Resources Directorate1. A template for this purpose is available in the Leave Management Conversation Guide for Supervisors (refer to Guidelines section below).
The direction will give two (2) months’ notice to the staff member to take one of the following options which will be subject to approval by the nominated supervisor:
(i) reduction of their leave balance to below thirty (30 days) within six (6) months of the date of the notice; or
(ii) reduction of their leave balance to below twenty (20) days within one (1) year of the date of the notice.
A further direction may be issued by the nominated supervisor, if, at the expiry of the two (2) month notice period following the direction, the circumstances below apply:
- the annual leave balance has not been reduced in accordance with one of the options above; or
- no agreed plan for reducing the accrued annual leave has been established; or
- planned annual leave is cancelled by the staff member; and
- there are no exceptional circumstances to explain why annual leave has not been reduced.
In the further direction, the nominated supervisor may require the staff member to take sufficient annual leave to bring their accrued leave to below thirty (30 days), and may direct the dates on which such leave will be taken. At least two (2) months’ notice of the date on which the staff member is directed to take leave will be given. The direction must be given in writing and copied to the Human Resources Directorate. A template for this purpose is available in the Leave Management Conversation Guide for Supervisors (refer to Guidelines section below).
In the above circumstance, if the staff member does not take the annual leave, the University will be entitled to deduct, from the staff member’s accrued annual leave, the amount of annual leave that the staff member has been directed to take at the conclusion of the directed period.
1 The University’s capacity to direct a staff member to take annual leave in the circumstances outlined in this Policy is considered to be reasonable; and is consistent with the provisions of S93(3) of the Fair Work Act, 2009.
5.7 Cashing Out Excess Annual Leave
A staff member may apply to cash out up to twenty (20) days of annual leave if the staff member is a full-time staff member, (and pro rata of the full-time entitlement to twenty (20) days if the staff member is a part-time staff member), under the following circumstances:
- the staff member’s annual leave balance exceeds forty (40) days (pro rata for part-time); and
- the staff member provides written notice to the University stating that she or he wishes to forego the annual leave and receive the payment instead by completing the Request to Cash Out of Leave Form; and
- the University agrees to allow the staff member to forego the annual leave.
The nominated supervisor will make a recommendation in relation to the application to the relevant member of the Executive. In exercising their discretion, the matters to be taken into consideration will include the possible work health and safety effect of the staff member foregoing the taking of a period of annual leave, having regard to the pattern and circumstances of leave taken by the staff member during the preceding twelve (12) month period.
Approved cash out of annual leave will be paid, within a reasonable time, at the rate of pay equivalent to the amount the staff member would have received for working the ordinary hours for the period to be cashed out.
The following behaviour is prohibited under the Fair Work Act:
- requiring a staff member to forego annual leave or
- exerting undue influence or pressure on a staff member in relation to the making a decision whether or not to forego annual leave.
5.8 Purchase of Additional Annual Leave (Individual Flexibility Arrangement)
A staff member may elect to enter into an Individual Flexibility Arrangement to purchase additional annual leave of either ten (10) days (two (2) weeks) or twenty (20) days (four (4) weeks) (or pro rata) in a 52 week period.
The purchased leave will be funded through the reduction in the staff member’s ordinary rate of pay. To calculate the purchased leave rate of pay, the staff member’s ordinary salary rate will be reduced by the number of weeks of purchased leave and then annualised at a pro rata rate over the 52 week period.
An application for purchased leave must be made on the Individual Flexibility Arrangement – Purchased Annual Leave Form on which the staff member will elect the amount of additional leave they wish to purchase (i.e. 10 or 20 days) and the anticipated dates the purchased leave will be taken. The conditions of purchased leave are set out on the form. By signing the form, the staff member agrees to those conditions.
Purchased leave is approved by a staff member’s nominated supervisor and HR. HR will identify the 52 week period over which the staff member’s salary will be reduced in order to fund the purchase leave. This will normally commence from the pay period 52 weeks before the end date of the purchased leave, or after agreement to the Individual Flexibility Arrangement by HR.
The staff member will be provided with a copy of the Individual Flexibility Arrangement within fourteen (14) days after it is agreed to by HR. HR will keep a copy of the arrangement as a times and wages record.
The University or the staff member may terminate the Individual Flexibility Arrangement:
(i) by giving no more than 28 days written notice to the other party to the arrangement; or
(ii) at any time, if the University and the staff member agree in writing.
Where an Individual Flexibility Arrangement is terminated or a staff member leaves the University before the end of the 52 week period, a reconciliation will take place. Any leave taken under the arrangement will be calculated at the rate applicable when the leave was taken and any over deducted amounts will be refunded to the staff member. Any amounts owing for leave already taken will remain payable by the staff member.
5.9 Payment of Annual Leave on Termination of Employment
When a staff member resigns, retires, is dismissed or otherwise terminates from employment, the staff member shall receive payment in lieu of annual leave accrued but not taken. In all instances payment in lieu shall be for annual leave accrued for each completed year of service plus a pro rata amount for the current year of service calculated on a daily basis.
In the event of termination of employment due to the staff member's death, payment in lieu of annual leave not taken where such leave is owing shall be made to the legal representative or estate of the staff member.
6. Annual Leave Loading
Staff who are entitled to annual leave are entitled to annual leave loading. A staff member, who as at 31 December in any year, has qualified for twenty (20) working days (pro rata for part-time and fractional staff) annual leave will be entitled to an annual leave loading equal to 17.5% of four weeks’ salary. Pro rata annual leave loading is paid when a staff member’s employment:
- commenced after 1 January in any year, or
- terminates before 31 December in any year.
Annual leave loading is subject to a maximum payment of the equivalent to the relevant Report of the Commonwealth Statistician's average weekly total earnings of all males (Australia).
Annual leave loading is paid:
- on a payday in December; or
- for a staff member who has an approved Individual Flexibility Arrangement, as part of salary paid on a fortnightly basis.
In the case of the latter, the staff member may initiate an Individual Flexibility Arrangement related to the annualised payment of their annual leave loading and the following arrangements apply:
- Eligibility: The staff member must be entitled to annual leave loading before the Individual Flexibility Arrangement is initiated.
- Request: An eligible staff member lodges a request in writing to Human Resources via Service Central before 1 December in any year to apply to annual leave loading to be paid in the following year for the period 1 January to 31 December of that year. A template for this purpose is available in the Leave Management Conversation Guide for Supervisors (refer to Guidelines section below).
- Calculation: The value of the annual leave loading to be paid as part of salary will be calculated based on the staff member’s projected annual leave loading for the following year. The maximum payment will be determined based on the Report of the Commonwealth Statistician's average weekly total earnings of all males (Australia) available prior to the request.
- Conditions: The conditions applicable to arrangement are set out in the template. If the staff member wishes to involve their staff representative in the negotiation of the arrangement they should state this when making the request.
- Approval: The Individual Flexibility Arrangement will be made after it is approved by the Director, HR (or nominee).
- Duration: The approved Individual Flexibility Arrangement will remain in place for the calendar year. Staff who wish to continue the arrangement must apply each year.
7. Policy Review
The University may make changes to this policy from time to time 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.
- Purchased Annual Leave - Individual Flexibility Arrangement (Form, MS Word Document, 60.1 KB)
- Leave Management - Conversation Guide for Supervisors (Guidelines, PDF File, 382.7 KB)
- Recreation Leave Policy (Policy, PDF File, 473.8 KB)
|Policy applies to||
|Approval Authority||Vice-Chancellor And President|
|Governing Authority||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Date of Last Revision||06/08/2012|
|Effective Date of Last Revision||01/01/2018|
|Date of Policy Review *||30/06/2017|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
Leave Management Conversation Guide for Supervisors
Leave Without Pay Policy
Long Service Leave Policy
Academic Workload Policy
Performance Review and Planning Program for Academic Staff Policy
Professional Staff Performance Review and Planning process Policy
Overtime for Professional Staff (for arrangements when a Professional Staff member is required to work on a Public or University Holiday)
Page last updated: 2018-11-11
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/136685