Department of Health Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019

Part F - Leave

Page last updated: 28 January 2016

General conditions

  1. All accrued leave entitlements will be expressed and deducted in hours and minutes.

Use of personal/carers leave, compassionate/bereavement leave, community service leave and war service sick leave during other forms of leave

  1. An employee who meets the requirements for personal/carers leave, compassionate/bereavement leave, community service leave or war service sick leave while on annual leave or long service leave and who produce satisfactory evidence may apply for that leave. Annual leave and long service leave will be re-credited to the extent of the period of alternative leave granted.

Public holidays during leave

  1. Payment for public holidays which fall during a period of leave will be paid in accordance with the NES and the FW Act.

Donating blood

  1. The department recognises the importance of and supports employees in donating blood. Employees donating blood during working hours are not required to complete a leave application or to utilise flextime.

Recall to duty

  1. Where an employee is recalled from approved leave or that approved leave is cancelled, the Secretary will approve reasonable reimbursement toward travel expenses which have been incurred, incidental expenses or family care costs not otherwise recoverable under insurance or from another source, provided that the employee took reasonable precautions, as determined by the Secretary, to avoid such expenses.

School holiday family care subsidy

  1. Where an employee with school children has leave refused, has approved leave cancelled or is required to return from leave early because of departmental business requirements during school holidays, the Secretary will reimburse up to $22 per child per day of the amount paid by the employee for each school child attending approved or registered care.
  2. In the circumstances described above, where the employee can demonstrate that they would otherwise have taken personal responsibility for caring for other family members during school holidays, the Secretary may reimburse some, or all, of the amount paid by the employee for that family care.
  3. The reimbursement will be net of any government subsidy available to the employee.

Further information on family care assistance and the school holiday family care subsidy is available in the Family Care Assistance policy.

Portability of leave

  1. Where an ongoing APS employee moves (including on promotion or for an agreed period) from another agency, the employee’s unused accrued annual leave and personal/carers leave (however described) will be recognised, provided there is no break in continuity of service.
  2. Where an employee is engaged as either an ongoing or non-ongoing APS employee immediately following a period of employment under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 or the ACT Government Service, the employee’s unused accrued annual leave and personal/carers leave (however described) will be recognised.

Former non-ongoing employees

  1. Where a person is engaged as an ongoing employee, and immediately prior to the engagement the person was employed as a non-ongoing APS employee, the Secretary, at the employee’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.

Annual leave

Entitlement

  1. Full-time employees are entitled to the equivalent of 20 days (150 hours) for each full year worked. Part-time employees accrue annual leave on a pro-rata basis for ordinary hours worked. Annual leave will accrue daily.
  2. Employees working in a remote locality may have additional annual leave.

Further information is available in the Remote Locality policy.

Effect of leave without pay

  1. 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.
    1. Where aggregated absences for periods totalling 30 calendar days or less, the annual leave accrual is not affected.
    2. 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.
    3. Where leave without pay covers an entire calendar year, no annual leave credit accrues for that year.

Direction to take annual leave

  1. The Secretary may direct an employee who has more than two years annual leave credit to take annual leave. The employee must take annual leave if directed to do so. The employee may be directed to be on leave (and to be absent from the workplace) for whichever is lesser of:
    1. 10 consecutive working days, or
    2. a period of time equal to 25 per cent of accrued annual leave credits at the time of the direction.

Deferring leave

  1. An employee may apply to the Secretary to defer taking the leave defined in clause 157 for up to one year from an agreed date.
  2. An employee with an annual leave credit greater than two years on:
    1. commencing duty in the department, or
    2. returning to work following a long term absence due to illness or injury, or
    3. resuming duty following a graduated return to work,

    will have a period of 12 months to take sufficient leave to reduce the employee’s credit down to the equivalent of two years or less.

Annual leave at half-pay

  1. Employees 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. Where annual leave is taken at half-pay, credits will be deducted from the employee’s annual leave balance on the basis that two days of annual leave at half-pay is equivalent to one day of annual leave at full-pay.

Payment of annual leave on termination

  1. Any unused accrued annual leave will be subject to payment to the employee when the employee’s APS employment is terminated. Payment will be calculated using the employee’s final rate of salary, including allowances that would have been included in the employee's pay during a period of annual leave.
  2. For employees 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.

Personal/carers leave

  1. On engagement, an ongoing employee 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, without limit.

Accrual and credits - non-ongoing employees

  1. Full-time non-ongoing employees, other than irregular/intermittent employees, are entitled to 18 days personal/carers leave (135 hours) per year or the part-time equivalent, accruing daily.

Deferral of accrual

  1. 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.
    1. Where aggregated full day absences total 30 calendar days or less, the accrual is not affected.
    2. 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 – irregular/intermittent employees

  1. Irregular/intermittent employees are entitled to two days unpaid personal leave for caring purposes for each permissible occasion, subject to notifying the employee’s manager and providing satisfactory evidence.

Advice to manager

  1. An employee, where practicable, must personally advise the employee’s manager of the employee’s absence or the employee’s intention to be absent as soon as possible. Where the employee’s manager is not contactable, advising another employee in the employee’s work team will suffice.

Use of personal/carers leave

  1. Personal/carers leave gives employees access to paid leave, subject to available credits, when they are absent for the following reasons:
    1. where the employee is not fit for work because of a personal illness or injury affecting the employee,
    2. to provide care or support to a member of the employee’s family or the employee’s household, who requires care or support because of a personal illness or personal injury, affecting the member,
    3. where a member of the employee’s family or the employee’s household is affected by an unexpected emergency,
    4. for compelling personal reasons of an unexpected, urgent and unpredictable nature, or
    5. to attend preventative health consultations for the employee and/or those in the employee’s care.

Personal Leave must not be used for the purposes of d) and/or e) above if it would be detrimental to an employee in any respect, when compared to the National Employment Standards under the FW Act 2009.

Satisfactory evidence requirements

  1. For periods of personal/carers leave, employees should provide evidence to their manager that would satisfy a reasonable person that the leave was taken for a reason set out in clause 168.
  2. An employee must provide satisfactory evidence to support applications for personal/carers leave for more than three consecutive days.
  3. If an employee takes 10 days personal/carers leave without satisfactory evidence in a period of twelve months, then the employee 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.
  4. For the purpose of this clause, the 12 month period commences on the date determined to be the employee’s anniversary for the purpose of accruing personal/carers leave.
  5. Satisfactory evidence must be provided within 24 hours of the employee’s return to work or another period that is reasonable in the circumstances.

Conversion to half-pay

  1. The Secretary may approve the conversion of personal/carers leave to half-pay for an employee for a specified absence of not less than two days. Where personal/carers leave is taken at half-pay, credits will be deducted from the employee’s personal/carers leave balance on the basis that two days of personal/carers leave at half-pay is equivalent to one day of personal/carers leave at full-pay.

Unpaid personal/carers leave

  1. Where paid personal/carers leave credits are exhausted, an employee may apply for personal/carers leave without pay. Continuous unpaid personal 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, unless otherwise required by legislation.

Reappointment after invalidity retirement

  1. If an employee’s APS employment is terminated on the grounds of invalidity, and the employee is subsequently re-engaged as a result of action taken under the relevant superannuation legislation, the employee is entitled to be credited with personal/carers leave equal to the balance of the employee’s personal/carers leave at the time of termination.
  2. An employee is unable to access personal/carers leave while on paid parental leave.

Payment on termination

  1. Unused personal/carers leave will not be paid out on termination of employment.

Further information on personal/carers leave is available in the Personal/Carers Leave policy.

Miscellaneous leave

  1. 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.
  2. Leave may be granted:
    1. for the period requested or for another period,
    2. with or without pay, and
    3. subject to conditions.
  3. Where exceptional circumstances affect an employee, the Secretary will consider granting paid leave. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, emergency situations such as bushfires, floods, cyclones and earthquakes.

Further information is available in the Miscellaneous Leave Policy.

Not to count as service

  1. Miscellaneous leave without pay will not count for service for any purpose, except as required by legislation, with the following exceptions:
    1. leave for personal and development training in the interests of the department
    2. leave for non APS employment in the interests of the department.

Leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees

  1. The department recognises the obligations placed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to participate in ceremonial activities and other cultural obligations. To allow employees to meet obligations and participate in activities, the following leave provisions are provided:
    1. two days leave with pay each year to participate in NAIDOC Week activities or other cultural or ceremonial events and
    2. three months unpaid leave each year to fulfil cultural obligations. This leave will not count as service for any purpose.

Unauthorised absences

  1. Periods of unauthorised absence do not count as service for any purpose. Where an employee is absent from duty without approval, all pay and other benefits provided under the Agreement (e.g. flextime) will cease to be available until the employee resumes duty or is granted leave. Where flextime no longer applies, the employee will revert to the Standard Day.

War service sick leave

  1. Eligible employees will generally be granted war service sick leave while unfit for duty because of a war-caused condition. A war-caused condition means an injury or disease of an employee that has been determined under the relevant legislation to be war-caused or defence-caused. Eligible employees 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.

Compassionate leave

  1. Employees, other than irregular/intermittent employees, will be granted two days paid compassionate leave on each occasion that a member of the employee’s family, or the employee’s household:
    1. contracts or develops a personal illness that poses a serious threat to life, or
    2. sustains a personal injury that poses a serious threat to life, or
    3. dies.
  2. The employee may take the period of leave as a single period of two days or any separate period on which the employee’s manager and employee agree.
  3. The employee’s manager may require the employee to provide evidence of the illness, injury or death in support of the request for leave.
  4. An irregular / intermittent employee is entitled to unpaid compassionate leave of up to two days per occurrence and is not eligible for paid bereavement leave under clause 190.

Further information on compassionate leave is available in the Compassionate and Bereavement Leave policy.

Bereavement leave

  1. The employee’s manager will grant three days leave with pay to an employee other than an irregular / intermittent employee on the occasion of the death of a member of the employee’s family or household, close friend, partner or a person who was clearly dependent on the employee 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.

Further information on bereavement leave is available in the Compassionate and Bereavement Leave policy.

Purchased leave

  1. To assist employees 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.
  2. Where a manager agrees that an employee may participate in the purchased leave scheme, the employee may purchase from one to six weeks purchased leave per year. Leave, once purchased, shall generally be taken in multiple days.

To count for service

  1. Purchased leave will count for service for all purposes. The employee’s salary for superannuation purposes continues to be their salary as if they had not purchased leave.

Further information about purchased leave is available in the Annual Leave, Long Service Leave, Purchased Leave and Extended Purchased Leave policy.

Extended purchased leave

  1. When an employee has accrued a period of three years of continuous employment with the department, they may apply for access to extended purchased leave. A period of up to twelve months absence on extended purchased leave will be available following a further two years of continuous employment with the department (during which time the employee will accrue the leave).

Not to count for service

  1. Extended purchased leave will not count as service for any purpose.

Further information regarding extended purchased leave is available in the Annual Leave, Long Service Leave, Purchased Leave and Extended Purchased Leave policy.

Leave for ADF Reserve and Continuous Full Time Service or Cadet Force obligations

  1. An employee may be granted leave (with or without pay) to enable the employee to fulfil Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve and Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS) or Cadet Force obligations.
  2. An employee is entitled to leave with pay, of up to four weeks during each financial year, and an additional two weeks paid leave in the first year of ADF Reserve Service, for the purpose of fulfilling service in the ADF Reserve.
  3. 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.
  4. An employee who is an officer or instructor of cadets in a Cadet Force may be granted paid leave of up to three weeks each financial year to perform duties as an officer or instructor of Cadets. For these purposes ‘Cadet Force’ means the Australian Navy Cadets, Australian Army Cadets, or the Australian Air Force Cadets.
  5. Defence Reserve leave counts as service for all purposes, except for unpaid leave to undertake Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS). Unpaid leave for the purpose of CFTS counts as service for all purposes except Annual leave accrual.

Community service leave

  1. An eligible community service activity includes:
    1. 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
    2. carrying out a volunteer emergency management activity (within the meaning of section 109 (2) of the FW Act).
  2. In relation to jury service, the Secretary will approve paid community service volunteer leave to enable an employee to attend court appearances as a juror. In this event, the employee will continue to receive their normal salary subject to any payments of a salary nature made to the employee by the court for jury service being signed over to the Department.
  3. An employee who engages in an eligible community service activity is entitled to paid leave if:
    1. the period consists of one or more of the following:
      1. time when the employee engages in the activity,
      2. reasonable travelling time associated with the activity,
      3. reasonable rest time immediately following the activity,
    2. where the activity is emergency management, the absence is due to:
      1. regular training,
      2. all emergency service responses,
      3. reasonable rest time immediately following the activity, and
      4. attendance at ceremonial duties.
    3. unless the activity is jury service – the employee’s absence is reasonable in all the circumstances.
  4. The Secretary may provide leave to an employee who is participating in a major international sporting event.

Further information on community service leave is available in the Community Service Leave policy.

Long service leave

  1. Long service leave (LSL) will accrue and be available to eligible employees 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-pay or 14 consecutive calendar days at half-pay. The granting of such leave is subject to operational requirements.
  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.

Parental leave

Maternity leave

  1. Maternity leave is available to an employee for her absence from the workplace on the birth of her child/children.
  2. Employees covered by this Agreement will be entitled to maternity leave under the terms of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973, including up to 12 weeks paid maternity leave for eligible employees.
  3. At the employee’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 leave

  1. An eligible employee will also receive an additional two weeks paid leave to be taken immediately following the period of paid 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 leave

  1. An employee 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 FW Act.
  2. Taking unpaid parental leave does not prevent an eligible employee 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 FW Act. If the employee does so, the taking of the other paid leave does not break the continuity of the period of unpaid parental leave.
  3. Unpaid parental leave does not count as service for any purpose.

Further information on parental leave is available in the Parental Leave policy.

Special maternity leave

  1. Where an employee 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 FW Act. Unpaid special maternity leave will count as service for all purposes.
  2. Special maternity leave will operate in conjunction with entitlements under the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973.

Parental (partner) leave

  1. Within 12 months of the birth, fostering or adoption of a child, an employee 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.
  2. The Secretary may approve leave for a non-primary care giver not residing with the child.
  3. 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 leave

  1. On ending parental, maternity, adoption or foster leave, an employee is entitled to recommence the employee’s previous duties in accordance with the relevant provisions of the FW Act.

Adoption or foster leave

  1. Within 12 months of the adoption or fostering of a child by an employee with 12 months or more continuous service in the APS, who will be the primary care giver, is entitled to up to 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.
  2. The adopted or foster child must not be a child or step-child of the employee or the employee’s partner unless that child had not been in the custody and care of the employee or the employee’s partner for a significant period.
  3. An employee is not entitled to both adoption and fostering leave for the same child.
  4. The Secretary may approve spreading the period of paid leave over a maximum period of 28 continuous weeks at a rate no less than half normal pay.
  5. Where an employee elects to take paid adoption or fostering leave at half-pay, a maximum of 14 weeks counts as service for all purposes.
  6. The provisions of clauses 216 to 224 also apply to a child who is subject to a permanent care order made by an Australian court or under Australian legislation.
  7. 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 leave

  1. Employees 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.

Family care rooms

  1. The Secretary will provide ad hoc access to family care facilities to provide a resource for employees to carry out aspects of their normal duties while caring for dependants, as an alternative to taking leave.

Facilities for breastfeeding

  1. The Secretary will provide appropriate facilities for mothers to undertake breastfeeding, lactation and associated activities in the workplace.

Further information is available in the Lactation Breaks, Family Care Rooms and Breastfeeding Facilities policy.