Community service leave instruction

Instruction statement

Community service leave entitles staff to be absent from employment when engaging in eligible community service activity.

Community service leave encompasses the following leave types:

  • Jury duty leave
  • Voluntary emergency leave
  • Defence reserve leave
  • Election contesting leave
  • Industrial relations training leave



Instruction steps and actions


A staff member who engages in an eligible community service activity is entitled to be absent from his or her employment for the following periods:

  • time when the employee engages in the activity (Unless the activity is jury duty – the employee’s period of absence is reasonable in all the circumstances)
  • reasonable travelling time associated with the activity and
  • reasonable rest time immediately following the activity

Notice and evidence

The staff member must notify their manager of the expected period of absence as soon as practicable and must provide reasonable evidence that the absence from work is because the employee is engaging in an eligible community service activity.

Leave requests must be submitted via ESS in line with the Leave procedure.

Jury service leave entitlements:

Jury duty leave (including attendance for jury selection) that is required under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.

  • Fixed-term and continuing staff members: Paid leave for the duration of attendance at a court for jury service or for appearing as a Crown witness.
  • Casual staff: Leave without pay to serve as jurors for the period of attendance required in a court of law.

Any fees paid to the staff member for jury services will not be deducted from the staff member’s salary

Voluntary emergency leave

Voluntary emergency management activity is a voluntary activity that involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster, e.g. fire-fighting, an auxiliary operation or an activity that is of community service nature prescribed by regulations.

The employee must be a member of a recognised emergency management body (or have a ‘member-like’ association with the body). The body must request the employee to engage in the activity.

Voluntary emergency leave entitlements:

  • Professional and academic staff: Paid leave for duration of an emergency service activity plus an additional day for recovery.
  • TAFE teaching staff: Up to 38 hours paid leave for an emergency service activity plus unpaid leave as required for the duration of a voluntary emergency activity.
  • Casual staff:
    Unpaid leave for the duration of a voluntary emergency activity.

The delegated authority may approve further leave with or without pay where the need is of such a magnitude as to warrant special consideration.

The University is not liable and accepts no responsibility for accident or injury which may be sustained by a staff member who undertakes voluntary emergency activities.

Defence Reserve leave (Fixed-term and continuing only)

Staff who are in the Defence Reserve will be entitled to two weeks leave for attendance at an annual training camp and a further four days a year for the same purpose on the certification of the unit’s Commanding Officer.

Academic and professional staff will also be entitled to two weeks leave in any one year for up to two schools, classes or courses conducted by or on behalf of the Reserve, but the University will pay the difference between normal salary and any pay received from the Reserve. Applications for leave will be submitted before leave commences and evidence of attendance will also be required on return to duty.

Election contesting leave (Fixed-term and continuing professional and academic staff only)

A candidate for Federal or State Parliament will be entitled to unpaid leave for all or part of the period between the close of nominations and the declaration of the poll, but may use annual or long service credits during such absence.

Industrial relations training leave (Fixed term and continuing staff only)

Paid leave of up to five days per calendar year may be granted to a staff member to attend short courses or seminars on industrial relations or dispute resolution or national conference on the following conditions.

a) That the University’s operating requirements permit the granting of leave.

b) That the scope, content and level of the short courses are such as to contribute to a better understanding of workplace employee relations.

c) Leave on full pay in excess of five working days and up to 10 working days may be granted to a employee in any one calendar year subject to the total leave granted in that year and in the subsequent calendar year not exceeding 10 working days.

d) Payment will be at the ordinary rate of pay and will not include shift and other penalty payments, or overtime.

e) The University will be provided prior formal advice of the training course at least 10 working days before the commencement of the course. The formal advice must detail the duration of the course, the course outline and the venue of the course. This formal advice should accompany an application for leave by the employee.

f) Expenses associated with attendance at such courses or seminars e.g. fares, accommodation, meal costs and course materials will be met by the employee concerned.

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