Leave without pay procedure

Leave Without Pay is granted at the discretion of the University. It is not normally granted where other forms of leave are available to the staff member. Special circumstances, however, may necessitate the taking of leave without pay and these are outlined below.

Extent of leave

Leave Without Pay will not normally exceed one year except where another tertiary institution, a government agency, professional development, or other relevant employment or study is involved, in which case up to two years may be approved.

Conditions under which leave without pay may be granted

(a) Leave Without Pay may be granted to enable a staff member:

  • to take up a limited term appointment such as Research Fellowship, temporary lectureship, etc. at another institution;
  • to take up a brief fixed-term appointment with another institution or government body, (that may aid in the development and expertise of the staff member as well as being in the interests of the University);
  • to undertake a consultancy with a government, international organisation or other approved body;
  • to undertake a program of study, or carry out a research program or project which falls outside the provision of staff development leave;
  • to accompany a partner on extended leave or secondment;
  • to settle affairs of a personal nature where an extended period of leave is required; for example, to execute an estate or care for dependents or family members in the case of illness, accident or bereavement; and
  • to extend sick leave where credits have been exhausted.

** This list should be considered to be illustrative and not prescriptive. **

(b) Approval of such leave will be conditional upon a staff member exhausting all recreation leave credits.

(c) The timing of the leave may be a consideration to determine whether or not to grant the leave.

(d) Staff members must make their own arrangements in relation to salary deductions, e.g. union deductions, health benefits, etc. (superannuation is referred to below.)

Authority to approve leave without pay

For periods of up to four weeks, the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Learner Experience Officer, Executive Dean/Director may approve requests.

For periods in excess of four weeks, the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will determine whether or not to approve a request for Leave Without Pay, having first received a recommendation from the relevant Executive Dean/Director (via People and Culture).


  • For requests for Leave Without Pay for periods of up to four weeks, login to Workday to submit your request.
  • For requests for Leave Without Pay for periods in excess of four weekslogin to Workday to submit your request and include a memorandum detailing reasons (with supporting documentation).

The request and comments of the Executive Dean/Director should then be forwarded to the Director, People and Culture.

The statement from the Executive Dean/Director, should contain details of arrangements proposed in respect of the staff member's duties. People and Culture will pass the request on to the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) for consideration and decision.

All applications for Leave Without Pay should, where possible, be received by People and Culture at least two months prior to the commencement date of the leave.

Public holidays during leave without pay

Public Holidays observed during Leave Without Pay will form part of the leave.

Accrual of long service, recreation leave and sick leave entitlements

Periods of Leave Without Pay in excess of four weeks in any year of service will not count as service for long service leave, recreation leave and sick leave purposes.

Sick leave without pay

Staff members who have exhausted all of their sick leave, recreation leave and long service leave entitlements may be granted sick Leave Without Pay.

Requests for sick Leave Without Pay, which must be accompanied by a medical doctor's certificate, may be determined by the relevant Executive Dean/Director for periods of up to four weeks.

For periods in excess of four weeks the request must be forwarded to the Director, People and Culture for ultimate consideration by the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee).

Salary increments

Leave Without Pay periods may affect incremental advancement.

  • For periods of Leave Without Pay for up to four weeks in any one year, normal incremental progression entitlements or due dates will not be affected.
  • In the case of Leave Without Pay granted for periods in excess of four weeks the continuation of salary increments and/or the future date for further incremental advancement will be determined by the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee):
    • consideration of such approval will take into account the purpose for which the leave is to be used and whether or not the leave will enhance professional development and performance.
    • normally, if the leave is for a purpose other than professional, and is in excess of four weeks, incremental advancement will not be allowed.
    • where incremental advancement has not been allowed during the leave without pay period staff members will be required to serve a total of 12 months paid employment at the one incremental level before advancement can be continued.

Superannuation (as determined by the relevant superannuation fund)

When taking Leave Without Pay a staff member will normally have the following options:

  • Maintain full benefits by arranging for both member and employer contributions to be continued (for UniSuper Defined Benefit Plan and Accumulation Super (2) members both the contributions and benefits would be based on the salary at the date the Leave Without Pay commenced);
  • Make no contributions, in which case the period of leave is counted as a period of zero service fraction. [Death and disablement benefits may continue to some extent but this will depend on the superannuation scheme the staff member is in];
  • For Victorian State Superannuation members other options may be available in relation to the payment of half or a percentage of contributions. [Conditions will apply to death or disablement cover and these vary depending on Revised or New Scheme provisions.]

Staff members contemplating leave without pay should consider consulting payroll@federation.edu.au. Any option to maintain full benefits will be expensive.