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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:
  • purchase additional leave of up to 12 weeks over one year and/or
  • 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). Use the online calculator for an estimate of the impact the additional purchased leave will have on your fortnightly salary.
  2. The staff member is able to 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.
  2. Staff who have excess annual leave (>20 days) or long service leave (> 65 days) are unable to apply for purchased leave unless they have approved arrangements to clear their excess leave, e.g. as part of a planned long-term break.


  1. A staff member may purchase additional leave of at least one (1) week, in one week blocks up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
  2. Approval is for 12 months and a new application must be made each year.
  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 (e.g. EA 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 it was purchased at.
  6. Purchased leave deductions will be reconciled at the end of the application period,
  1. any overpayment caused by a staff member taking purchased leave at a higher salary than it was purchased at will be deducted from the next available pay, and
  2. 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.
  1. Purchased leave cannot be rolled over from one period to the next. Any under or overpayments must be reconciled at the end of the agreed purchased leave payment period.
  2. The cost of the additional leave including maintenance of normal superannuation contributions will be by fortnightly pre-tax deduction.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 days leave.
  5. Purchased leave cannot be accessed at half pay.
  6. 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. The supervisor should assess applications for purchased leave in a positive way while taking into consideration operational requirements as well as the applicant's needs. The Request to Purchase Additional Annual Leave form, once approved, must be submitted to Remuneration and Conditions Branch.
  2. 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 on 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 Branch who will conduct a reconciliation and make appropriate salary adjustments.
  4. If a staff member resigns from ANU or takes long-term leave while an approved purchased leave arrangement is in place, 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.

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 should submit a Request to Purchase Additional Annual Leave form, by the end of November each year. The additional leave will be credited to the leave balance in the second pay of the following calendar year.
  2. Staff who wish to substitute additional annual leave in lieu of their annual leave loading will receive an accrual of either 3 days leave, or a pro rata equivalent of the annual leave loading depending on their classification and salary.
  3. Staff with less than the full 12 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
Version 12
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 17 Sep 2020
Next Review Date 31 Jan 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021
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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