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Procedure: Personal leave


Personal leave is provided for under the ANU Enterprise Agreement, legislation, and the ANU Staff Leave policy. This document provides staff with information relating to conditions specific to personal leave including their entitlement and the procedures for taking personal leave.


  1. Other than casual staff, personal leave is provided for the following circumstances:
  2. Sick leave for all staff members for recovery from personal illness or injury
  3. Carer’s leave for all staff members to care for an immediate family member, or a member of the staff member’s household who requires care or support because of:
  • personal illness
  • personal incapacity
  • an unexpected emergency affecting the staff member, or
  • to provide related care for a medical condition, subject to a medical certificate.
  1. Bereavement leave for an immediate family member
  2. Cultural leave for the purpose of observing or attending essential religious or cultural obligations associated with the staff member’s particular religious faith, culture or tradition, subject to the provision of reasonable evidence of the nature of the activity or ceremony the staff member is obliged to attend, or
  3. Other compassionate or appropriate grounds as determined by the Director, Human Resources.
  4. For the purpose of personal leave the term ‘immediate family member’ means:
  • The staff member’s partner including spouse, de facto, and same sex partner
  • Child, including foster child and/or the child of the staff member’s partner
  • Parent including parent of the staff member’s partner
  • Sibling including sibling of the staff member’s partner
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members

  1. For the purposes of bereavement leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members, immediate family may also mean; by marriage, adoption, fostering, or traditional kinship, and refer to staff member’s spouse, former spouse, domestic partner or former domestic partner, child or adult child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, foster-grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild, in-law relative, guardian, ward, or person with respect to whom the staff member has an Indigenous kinship relationship of equivalent significance, or a person who stands in a bona fide domestic or household relationship with a staff member including situations in which there is implied dependency or a support role for the staff member.
  2. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members, cultural leave may also include: leave to fulfil ceremonial obligations which may include cultural events, initiation, birthing and naming, funerals and smoking or cleansing, and sacred site or land ceremonies.
  3. Where an Indigenous staff member has exhausted all personal leave provisions provided for below (clause 8), the University will grant the staff member with an additional four (4 days) of personal leave to facilitate their cultural responsibilities as identified in clause 4 above.
  4. To obtain more information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family or kinship groups, supervisors and staff should complete the Indigenous Cultural Awareness online training module or visit the website.
  5. It is expected that applications for personal leave will be considered in a manner sensitive to these cultural differences.

Personal leave entitlements

  1. A staff member is entitled to personal leave on full pay at the rate of:



Full time continuing staff member, continuing contingent funded or fixed-term staff member (over 6 months) in the 1st to 3rd year of service

20 days per year (cumulative)

Full time continuing staff member, continuing contingent funded or fixed-term staff member after the 3rd year of service

25 days per year (cumulative)

Fixed-term staff (6 months or less)

10 days on appointment

Part-time staff member

Accrue on a pro-rata basis (cumulative)

Casual staff member

No entitlement other than provided for under the Fair Work Act 2009

  1. All personal leave is cumulative.
  2. On commencement a staff member will be credited with the first year’s entitlement. Second and subsequent year’s entitlement accrues throughout the year and is available on the anniversary of appointment.


  1. All staff must contact their supervisor as soon as practicable to advise their inability to attend work, and provide the reason(s) and anticipated period of absence.
  2. All staff must submit an online leave application for all periods of personal leave taken.
  3. A medical certificate is required for absences in excess of four (4) consecutive days or three (3) or more days for staff employed on a 12 hour shift. Other appropriate evidence may include a statutory declaration or other reasonable evidence considered acceptable by the University. Where considered warranted, the delegate may require a medical certificate for any future absences.
  4. The medical certificate or other evidence must be provided to the staff member’s immediate supervisor or another staff member nominated by the University before or after the personal leave has started. Staff members may be excused from complying with this requirement if the circumstances are beyond their control.
  5. In cases of ongoing illness, a staff member may discuss and agree with a supervisor on the evidence required.
  6. Subject to clause 13, an acceptable medical certificate will include certificates from medical service providers including the following:
  1. Registered medical practitioners such as general practitioners, medical specialists, dentists, orthodontists, registered nurses, midwives
  2. Health care providers such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, podiatrists, dietitians
  3. Natural therapists including naturopaths, herbalists, homeopaths, nutritionists, and massage therapists where a referral to that therapist has been arranged by a registered medical practitioner.
  1. A certificate from a natural therapist or health care provider is at the discretion of the delegate.
  2. An acceptable medical certificate (or statutory declaration in accordance with clause 13 will state either:
  • The staff member had, has, or will have, a personal illness or injury during the period
  • The staff member is unfit for duty
  • The staff member requires (or required) care or support during the period of absence due to a personal illness or injury, or an unexpected emergency
  • The staff member’s immediate family member or household member is unwell and the staff member is required to care for the family or household member.

Medical certificates for workers’ compensation

  1. For workers’ compensation as specified in the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act), the medical certificate should be provided as follows:
  • Claimants need to provide an original certificate stating a precise medical diagnosis and indicating a work related injury or disease
  • If a claim is made for chiropractic, physiotherapy or osteopathic treatment only and not for payment of any time off work, an original medical certificate from the treating chiropractor, physiotherapist, or osteopath is acceptable
  • In all other cases claimants will need to provide an original medical certificate from a legally qualified medical practitioner (for example a general practitioner or medical specialist), and
  • If a claim is made for an illness or disease the medical practitioner will also need to provide information that indicates how employment with the University contributed to the medical condition.
  1. It is importance to note that these conditions should also be applied to medical certificates connected with claims under the University’s minor injury guidelines.

Other conditions for personal leave

  1. Where reasonable circumstances exist, the delegate may approve a staff member taking part of their personal leave entitlement as additional days on a half pay basis.
  2. A staff member who is accepted by a relevant superannuation fund, for temporary or permanent incapacity, will have a notional sick leave balance calculated for the purposes of determining the commencement date for incapacity payment. The notional sick leave accruals for the purpose of calculating the balance provided for in this clause will be calculated on the basis of 15 days of sick leave for the first three completed years of service with the University, and 20 days of sick leave for each subsequent completed year of service.
  3. A seriously ill staff member who has used all their personal leave credits and who is suffering substantial hardship may apply to Director, Human Resources for assistance during their illness. Applications for personal leave for the purpose of cultural leave will normally be submitted four (4) weeks prior to leave to allow the work area to make appropriate staffing arrangements to cover the period of absence, if necessary.
  4. A delegate must exercise their delegation to approve a leave application in accordance with the conditions and approval arrangements specified in this procedure.
  5. Approval of leave beyond those provided through this procedure requires the approval of the Director, Human Resources, or the Vice-Chancellor.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Personal leave
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000552
Version 10
Purpose To inform staff of their entitlement and the procedures for the taking of personal leave.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Leave & Absences
Effective Date 30 Nov 2010
Review Date 31 Dec 2017
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division