Skip Navigation

Special Leave Procedures

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact for versions that expired pre August 2012.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) These procedures apply where employment is governed by the University's current Enterprise Agreement. The provisions under other industrial instruments may differ.

Section 2 - Approval Authority

(2) The Head of Work Unit has the authority to approve special leave, up to the maximum annual entitlement, within the provisions of the Enterprise Agreement or appropriate industrial instrument, University Policies and Procedures.

(3) The Head of Work Unit may transfer their approval authority for special leave to a manager/supervisor (at HEW5 level and above) within their work unit using a Transfer of approval authority. The transfer will enable the manager/supervisor to approve the leave.

Section 3 - Eligibility and Conditions


(4) An employee may be granted paid special leave of up to a maximum of three days per calendar year. Employees who are part-time or have appointments of less than 12 months are eligible for special leave on a pro-rata basis.

(5) Casual employees are not eligible for special leave.

(6) Special leave may be granted in the following circumstances:

  1. Attend an employee's own graduation ceremony;
  2. Attend NAIDOC celebrations;
  3. Attend citizenship ceremonies;
  4. Attend religious and other ceremonial events; and
  5. Other special personal circumstances as approved.

(7) In addition to the circumstances outlined in clause 6, an employee experiencing domestic or family violence may apply for special leave up to a maximum of six days per calendar year to access or attend to medical, legal or other related support services. This maximum is inclusive of other periods of special leave taken during the calendar year.

(8) Where the period of absence relates to clause 7 and exceeds three days, the employee may be required to provide evidence in the form of a document issued by the Police Force, a Court, a Doctor, a Domestic Violence Support Service or Lawyer to support any period of absence on domestic violence grounds exceeding three days.

(9) Requests for additional leave will be considered in severe climatic circumstances.


(10) Special leave is non-cumulative.

(11) The length of the period of leave taken under the provisions of special leave is to be limited to the minimum time necessary in each circumstance.

(12) The onus is on the employee to clearly establish the need for special leave to the satisfaction of the authorising officer.

(13) Each application for special leave is considered on its merits and a decision relating to the approval of one period of leave cannot be used as a precedent for the granting of another period of leave.

Use of other forms of leave

(14) Where special leave is not approved for a particular requested absence, the employee may elect to have the absence deducted from available annual leave or long service leave. (The minimum requirements for the taking of LSL do not apply in this case.) Alternatively, the leave may be taken as leave without pay.

Special leave during other periods of leave

(15) Special leave will not be granted when an employee is absent on another period of approved leave.

Payment of allowances during periods of special leave

(16) Relieving allowance and additional responsibilities allowance will continue to be paid during periods of special leave if the employee is in the higher position for a total continuous period of six months or more. Relieving allowance will not be paid when the total continuous period in the higher position is less than six months. In such cases, should the period in the higher position subsequently be extended beyond six months, the allowance will only be paid during periods of special leave taken after an extension beyond six months has been approved and six months in the higher position has been served.

(17) First aid allowance will continue to be paid during periods of special leave.

Section 4 - Application and Approval Process

(18) An employee intending to apply for special leave should notify their supervisor of the impending absence prior to the proposed commencement date. Where emergency circumstances contribute to the absence and prior notice cannot be given, the employee should, as far as practicable, advise their supervisor of their absence and the estimated duration within one hour of the commencement of the first working day of the absence. The employee must communicate directly with their supervisor or nominated officer, not by way of voice mail or email.

(19) The employee is required to complete a leave application prior to commencing the leave, if possible, or as soon as they return to work.

(20) Professional employees are required to reflect the period of their leave on their attendance record.

(21) Where applicable, payment of allowances will cease during the period of leave.

Section 5 - Links and Forms

Apply for leave - MyHR

SCU Enterprise Agreement

Supervisor's guide to leave

Transfer of approval authority