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Procedure: Purchased annual leave


To set out the University's procedures for staff members to purchase additional annual leave.


  1. The University aims to assist staff to balance work and personal commitments by allowing staff to:
  1. purchase additional leave of up to 12 weeks over one year; and/or
  2. substitute an additional 3 days' leave (pro rata) in lieu of their annual leave loading.
  1. Purchased leave spreads the cost of the additional leave across a period of up to 12 months (26 pays). The online calculator can be used by staff to estimate the impact the additional purchased leave will have on the staff member’s fortnightly salary.
  2. Staff members can maintain their superannuation benefit by continuing their normal employee and employer superannuation contribution for the period of the purchased leave.


  1. Continuing, continuing (contingent funded) and fixed-term (longer than 24 months) staff are eligible to apply for purchased leave (pro-rata for part-time staff).
  2. Staff who have excess annual leave (>30 days) or long service leave (> 65 days) are unable to apply for purchased leave unless they have approved arrangements to clear their excess leave for example, as part of a planned long-term break.


  1. A staff member may purchase additional leave of at least one week, in one week blocks up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
  2. Approval is valid for 12 months.
  3. A staff member is unable to have secondary purchased leave applications, all outstanding deductions must be repaid prior to a new application commencing.
  4. Deductions from salary will commence in the first available pay period after approval.
  5. Any permanent salary increases or decreases, for example, EA salary increase, increment, promotion, reclassification, allowances, and transfer, will affect the total cost of the purchased leave if leave is taken at a different salary than at which it was purchased.
  6. Purchased leave deductions will be reconciled at the end of the application period.
  7. If an overpayment results from a staff member taking purchased leave at a higher salary than at which it was purchased, the overpayment notification and recovery process will occur in accordance with the ANU Procedure: Overpayments.
  8. Underpayments due to a reduction in salary or unused purchased leave at the end of the application period will be refunded in the next available pay.
  9. The cost of the additional leave including maintenance of normal superannuation contributions will be by fortnightly pre-tax deduction.
  10. Where staff with approved purchased leave move jobs within ANU, arrangements for the current 12-month period will be honoured. Areas may wish to negotiate funds transfer.
  11. Purchased leave can be taken in conjunction with all leave provisions. Where a public holiday falls within a period of purchased leave, the public holiday is not counted as a day's leave.
  12. Purchased leave cannot be accessed at half pay.
  13. A staff member with less than 12 months remaining on their fixed-term contract will have a reduced deduction period, consistent with the number of pays remaining before the expiration of the contract.

Approval process - initial application

  1. Supervisors should assess applications for purchased leave reasonably, taking into consideration the operational requirements of the business unit, as well as the needs of the applicant.
  2. Staff must submit a Request to Purchase Additional Annual Leave form, to their supervisor. Once the supervisor and delegate approve, the form must be submitted to Remuneration and Conditions team.
  3. If the delegate does not approve the application, the supervisor will notify the applicant of the reasons.

Accruing purchased leave

  1. Once the purchasing of additional leave has been approved, the accruals will be added to the staff member's leave balance and will show as a separate accrual leave type in HORUS.
  2. When applying for annual leave, the purchased annual leave accruals will be deducted from the staff member's purchased leave accrual first and then any other annual leave accruals will be deducted.
  3. A staff member may withdraw from an approved purchased leave arrangement, by writing to their supervisor. If the withdrawal is agreed, the supervisor will notify the Remuneration and Conditions team who will conduct a reconciliation and make appropriate salary adjustments.
  4. If a staff member resigns from ANU, reconciliation will be undertaken and appropriate salary adjustments made.

Taking purchased leave

  1. Where practicable, all staff are required to submit an online annual leave application (HORUS) in advance of the leave being taken. The granting of this leave is subject to the supervisor's agreement and the proposed dates may need to be negotiated taking into consideration operational requirements of the business unit.

Purchasing additional leave with leave loading

  1. Staff may choose to purchase up to three days' additional annual leave instead of receiving the annual leave loading. Staff who wish to substitute additional annual leave in lieu of their annual leave loading will receive an accrual of either three days leave, or a pro rata equivalent of the annual leave loading amount depending on their classification and salary.
  2. Staff should complete a Request to Purchase Additional Annual Leave form and submit to the Remunerations and Conditions team by the end of November each year. The additional leave will be credited to the staff member’s annual leave balance in the second pay of the following calendar year.
  3. Staff with less than the full twelve months leave loading credit may convert their annual leave loading and receive proportional leave in lieu.
  4. Part-time staff may convert their pro-rate annual leave loading and receive proportional leave in lieu.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Purchased annual leave
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000527
Purpose To set out the University's procedures for staff members to purchase additional annual leave.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Leave & Absences
Effective Date 19 Apr 2024
Next Review Date 6 Dec 2026
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.

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