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Procedure: Annual leave


Annual leave is provided under the ANU Enterprise Agreement and the ANU Policy: Staff leave. This procedure outlines the specific entitlements, conditions, and procedures specific to accessing annual leave.


  1. All staff, other than casuals, are entitled to 20 working days per year (pro-rata) annual leave for each completed 12-month period. Annual leave accruals are uncapped. Annual leave will be calculated on a fortnightly basis from commencement of employment, and all unused annual leave entitlements are paid out on termination.
  2. In addition to the general entitlement in clause 1 (above), the following categories of staff are entitled to additional leave per year accrued on a fortnightly basis:


Additional leave

Professional staff employed at the Siding Spring Observatory, Coonabarabran.

2 days per year

Professional staff on permanent rotating shifts.

5 days per year

Professional staff employed at Warramunga Seismic Array Unit.

7 days per year

Professional staff employed at the North Australia Research Unit.

5 days per year

Academic Staff

  1. Academic staff may be required to take their full yearly annual leave entitlement during December to January each year unless another period is approved by the delegate and the period is recorded in the University’s HR system.
  2. In the absence of an alternative period being approved by 1 December each year, the staff member will be rostered on leave for the balance of their current full year’s leave entitlement from the first working day in the following January and their annual leave balance will be reduced accordingly.

Excess leave management

  1. Annual leave accrual of more than six weeks (pro-rata for part-time staff) entitlement will be regarded as ‘excess leave’ for the purpose of this procedure.
  2. Where a staff member has accrued excess leave and has not applied for leave which will eliminate the excess, the University will notify the staff member that leave must be taken at a mutually agreed time within the next four months. The amount of leave to be taken, which includes any annual leave accrued during the notice period, must be sufficient to reduce the staff member’s excess leave to below four weeks (pro rata) of annual leave accrual.
  3. Where a staff member has not sufficiently reduced their excess leave balance in accordance with clause 6 (above), the University will require the staff member to take the specified period of leave, except where an agreed leave management plan has been approved.

Purchasing or cashing out annual leave

  1. A staff member, other than casual, may:
  1. Subject to approval of the appropriate delegate, purchase extended leave in accordance with University policy including options such as leave purchasing, purchasing leave with leave loading, deferred salary and 48/52 arrangements. Approval for such arrangements, while considering operational requirements, will not be reasonably withheld.
  2. Make an application to the Chief People Officer to have their annual leave accrual cashed out due to financial hardship.
  1. If payments are made under provision 8 (b) above, the following conditions will apply:
  1. the staff member must always have a balance of at least four weeks paid annual leave remaining.
  2. A written agreement must be made each time a staff member requests to cash out annual leave.
  3. The payment of cashed out annual leave must equate to the same amount as what the staff member would have been paid had they taken the leave.
  1. Payments made in accordance with clause 8 (b), are not superannuable, and will not count as service.

Annual leave loading

  1. A staff member is entitled to payment of an annual leave loading equal to 17.5 per cent of 20 days’ base salary, accruing on a fortnightly basis, except that:
  • The maximum annual leave loading payable will not exceed the average weekly earnings for all males in the May quarter of the year preceding payment, as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  • A staff member who continues to receive penalty rates, or an associated allowance, while on annual leave will not be eligible for annual leave loading if their penalty rate, or allowance rate, is equivalent to, or exceeds, 17.5 per cent of 20 days’ pay, and
  • A staff member who continued to receive penalty rates, or an associated allowance, while on annual leave which is less than 17.5 per cent will be eligible for payment of annual leave loading equivalent to the difference between such rates and 17.5 per cent of 20 days’ pay.
  1. Except where a staff member has elected to convert their leave loading to additional annual leave in accordance with clause 8 (a), accrued annual leave loading will be paid in the second pay of each calendar year and on termination any pro-rata balance will be paid.

Applications for annual leave

  1. Where practicable, all staff are required to submit an online leave application in advance of the leave being taken.
  2. Subject to appropriate notice and operational requirements of the work area, a staff member with sufficient credit should be able to take at least 20 days’ annual leave in an unbroken period. Such leave will not be unreasonably refused.
  3. Some areas, for example teaching academics and student administrative areas, have operational restrictions on when leave is taken and/or periods during which leave cannot or must be taken.
  4. Annual leave cannot be taken in advance of accruals, except in exceptional circumstances to be determined by the Chief People Officer.
  5. Staff on externally funded fixed term appointments may be required to take accrued leave prior to the expiry of their appointment.
  6. A staff member who is ill during a period of annual leave or long service leave may request that the leave entitlements be re-credited out of their personal leave balance, subject to submission of an appropriate medical certificate.
  7. A supervisor must exercise their delegation to approve a leave application in accordance with the conditions and approval arrangements specified in this procedure.

20. Approval of leave beyond those provided under this procedure requires approval of the Chief People Officer or the Vice-Chancellor and President.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Annual leave
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000558
Purpose Annual leave is provided for under the ANU Enterprise Agreement and the ANU Staff Leave Policy. This document provides staff with information relating to the conditions specific to annual leave, including their entitlements and the procedure for taking annual leave.
Audience Staff, Staff-Professional, Staff-Academic
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Leave & Absences
Effective Date 19 Apr 2024
Next Review Date 4 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.