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Leave Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This policy establishes how the leave entitlements and discretionary leave provisions are managed throughout the University in accordance with relevant industrial instruments, legislation and, if applicable, other relevant VU policies.

(2) The objectives of this policy are to ensure that:

  1. Managers and staff members are aware of leave entitlements, discretionary leave provisions and responsibilities;
  2. VU provides a safe and healthy workplace by ensuring that staff are able to access leave for rest, relaxation, recuperation, and other community and cultural purposes; and
  3. The operational requirements of the local work area are taken into account through appropriate work planning.
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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) This policy applies to leave provisions for fixed-term and continuing staff members in the following categories:

  1. Professional staff members
  2. Higher education academic staff members
  3. TAFE teaching staff members
  4. Senior Executive staff members
  5. Child Care staff members
  6. Sports Centre and Convention Centre staff members

(4) This policy does not apply to the following staff members:

  1. Casual staff members (except where they may be entitled to certain unpaid leave)
  2. Independent contractors or consultants
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Section 3 - Definitions

(5) Nil

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(6) Staff members are provided with a variety of leave arrangements (paid and unpaid) that enable them to balance work with rest and recreation, health needs, family responsibilities and other specific purposes. These leave provisions are derived from the applicable industrial instruments and relevant legislation, and include VU-specific leave arrangements.

(7) A safe and healthy work place enables staff members to take leave breaks and provides them with an opportunity to refresh themselves away from the work environment. It is in the interests of staff members and the University that annual leave entitlements are taken each year.

(8) Periods of paid leave count as service for all staff members. Periods of unpaid leave may count as service, subject to the relevant terms of the industrial agreement which applies.

Part A - Management of Leave

(9) Managers and staff members are responsible for considering and balancing operational and individual needs when applying for leave and/or approving leave.

(10) Managers are responsible for monitoring annual leave and long service leave balances. Planning with staff members to utilise these leave balances should form part of the annual planning process. Further details of this requirement are explained in the Leave Management Procedure.

(11) Managers should discuss extended leave arrangements with relevant staff members as part of the annual work planning process to ensure such arrangements form part of the work area's workforce planning and budgetary processes.

(12) Succession planning should be considered by managers when approving extended leave in the context as it may provide professional development opportunities for other existing staff members.

Part B - Types of Leave

Paid Leave Entitlements

(13) Staff members within scope of this policy are entitled to:

  1. Annual Leave
  2. Sick / Personal Leave
  3. Carer's Leave
  4. Long Service Leave
  5. Study Leave
  6. Public Holiday Leave for the public holidays specified in the relevant industrial agreement
  7. Two days' leave within the Christmas-New Year period in lieu of Labour Day, which is a University business day
  8. One additional day's leave within the Christmas-New Year period
  9. Any University holidays declared by the Vice Chancellor on an annual basis

(14) If applicable in the circumstances, staff members are also entitled to:

  1. Parental Leave
  2. Permanent Care Leave
  3. Compassionate Leave
  4. Domestic or Family Violence Leave
  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Leave
  6. Additional shift-worker leave for seven-day shift workers
  7. Industrial Dispute Resolution Training leave (TAFE teachers only)
  8. Medical isolation leave
  9. Other leave to enable the fulfilment of community obligations:
    1. Jury service leave
    2. Defence reservist service leave
    3. Blood donation leave
    4. Elite sporting leave to participate in the Olympic or Commonwealth Games
    5. Emergency services volunteering leave

(15) Staff members who are employed on a fractional basis, and/or for part of the year, are entitled to paid leave on a pro rata basis.

Paid Leave - Discretionary

(16) Special Leave may be granted on a paid or unpaid basis at the discretion of the Vice President People and Culture.

Unpaid Leave

(17) Cultural Leave is available to all staff on an unpaid basis for the performance of cultural or religious obligations.

(18) Leave Without Pay may be available to staff in some circumstances. Please see the Leave Without Pay Procedure for further details.

(19) Staff members requesting unpaid leave are expected to first use their paid leave entitlements (annual and long service leave), where appropriate.

(20) A period of Leave without pay does not extend the contracted termination date for a fixed term staff member.

(21) Where staff members have exhausted all paid leave, the University will cease paying the relevant staff member's salary for the duration of the absence.

(22) In the case of extended unauthorised leave, the University may consider that staff members have abandoned their employment.

Purchased Leave (Flexible Employment Cycle)

(23) Staff may exercise an option under the Flexible Work Arrangements Policy to purchase additional annual leave. The conditions and mechanisms of these arrangements are described in the Flexible Employment Cycle Procedure.

(24) Sabbatical Leave may be purchased by TAFE teachers by agreement, allowing for 1 year of leave at 80% salary after 4 years' service.

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Section 5 - Delegations and Authorisations

(25) Authority to approve the following leave types is delegated to the staff member's line manager in accordance with the People & Culture Delegations Schedule:

  1. Annual Leave
  2. Sick Leave
  3. Long Service Leave
  4. Leave Without Pay
  5. Purchased Leave

(26) Authority to approve the following leave types is delegated to the Vice-President, People and Culture:

  1. Special Leave
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Section 6 - Procedures & Related Material

(27) Leave Management Procedure

(28) Leave Types Procedure

(29) Leave - Domestic or Family Violence Leave Procedure

(30) Leave - Domestic or Family Violence Support Guidelines

(31) Leave Without Pay Procedure (Link to Flexible Work Arrangements Policy)

(32) Flexible Employment Cycle Procedure (Link to Flexible Work Arrangements Policy)

(33) Victoria University Enterprise Agreement 2013

  1. Section 24: Study Leave (Professional Staff)
  2. Section 43: Shift Work
  3. Sections 47-58: Holidays and Leave

(34) Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi-Business Agreement 2009

  1. Sections 23-27: Community leave types
  2. Section 34: Maternity and Adoption Leave
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Section 7 - Guidelines

(35) Nil