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Leave – General Provisions

Ongoing and non-ongoing employees may take leave for a number of circumstances with the approval of the employing Senator or Member.

Information on the available types of leave may be found in the Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (the Enterprise Agreement) and Guidelines. Information on certain aspects of leave that may impact on the management of employees by Senators and Members is provided below.

Senators and Members are reminded that their employees’ leave should be proactively managed. The use of annual leave supports wellbeing, allowing employees to rest and recuperate in order to remain fully productive.

To ensure that adequate leave is taken, Senators and Members may use the Online HR leave management function. This functionality allows Senators and Members to actively monitor leave balances and provides a leave calendar to help manage leave requests.

Discussions regarding the usage of annual leave should take place regularly and employees should be provided with opportunities to use their accrued annual leave each year.

For support using Online HR, Senators and Members should refer to the online assistance guides.

Applications for leave must be submitted in Online HR to the Senator, Member or authorised person for approval as soon as practicable. Any approved hard copy leave applications should be immediately forwarded to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services.

Direction to Use Annual Leave

The purpose of annual leave is to enable employees to have sufficient breaks from the workplace to enable them to perform effectively. It is therefore desirable that employees are able, and encouraged, to take annual leave each year.

Where an employee’s annual leave credits total 80 days or more as at 31 January or 31 July of any year, the employing Senator or Member may direct the employee to take a period of annual leave of up to one quarter of the amount of annual leave credited to the employee. The employee must be given at least one month’s notice of the requirement to commence annual leave and the leave may not be required to commence within one week of a date on which the employee has previously requested to be absent from work on annual leave where that request was denied by the employing Senator or Member.

Excess (Canberra) Travel Leave

Excess (Canberra) travel leave is to compensate employees, whose work base is located in a remote and/or rural location as listed in the Enterprise Agreement or approved by the Special Minister of State, and who are required to travel from their work base to Canberra on a Sunday or a day which is a public holiday in their work base, for a Parliamentary sitting on the following day. In this circumstance, employees may claim and receive one additional day of annual leave for each two Sundays and/or public holidays spent travelling up to a limit of eight additional days of annual leave per calendar year.

A claim for the additional annual leave credit must be verified by the Senator or Member, or authorised person, and received by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services within six months after the travel has been completed.

Personal Leave

Personal leave can be used for the personal illness or injury of the employee. Personal leave may also be used as carer’s leave to provide care or support to a member of the employee’s immediate family or household who requires care or support during a period of personal illness or injury or as the result of an unexpected emergency affecting the family or household member.

It is a matter for Senators and Members to determine when and/or whether a medical certificate or other evidence, such as a statutory declaration, must be provided by the employee, to the Senator or Member, to cover an absence of personal leave, including carer’s leave. Options could include a requirement that employees provide a certificate for any absence likely to exceed a certain number of consecutive days and/or after a specified number of days of personal leave per year has been used. Requirements should be advised to employees as soon as possible after commencing employment and/or after changing those requirements.

Leave for reasons relating to domestic and/or family violence

Personal leave may be accessed by employees for reasons relating to domestic and/or family violence. Where personal leave credits are exhausted, miscellaneous leave may be approved.

Public Holidays and Annual Closedown

Employees may absent themselves from work on a day that is a public holiday at the employee’s work base and/or at a location where the employee is travelling on official business, and will be paid for ordinary hours that would otherwise be worked on that day. Public holidays are set out in the Enterprise Agreement, and include any other days gazetted as public holidays by the relevant State or Territory Government.

Employees are not required to attend for duty on the business days falling between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and will be paid as though those days are public holidays.

Employees may be requested to work on particular public holidays and during the annual closedown, and must work on the relevant days unless the request to work is unreasonable. Where an employee is required to work ordinary hours of duty during the annual closedown, the employee may access paid time off for the ordinary hours worked. That paid time off must be used by 31 March in the year following the annual closedown, at a time subject to the agreement of the employing Senator or Member.

Last updated: 05 November 2019