Personal leave: Sick leave, carer’s leave and other instruction

Instruction statement

To assist both staff and managers in the application of the University’s personal leave provisions.

Personal leave encompasses the following leave types:

  • Sick leave
  • Carer’s leave
  • Compassionate leave
  • Changing residence leave
  • Cultural leave
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leave
  • Blood donor leave

Exclusions

None

Instruction steps and actions

Summary of personal leave entitlements for full time staff per annum

Staff members who are employed on a part-time basis, and/or part of the year, are entitled to paid leave on a pro rata basis.

Academic, professional and senior executive staff

VE staff

Childcare staff

Casual staff

Sick leave/ carer’s leave

Unused paid sick/carer’s leave is cumulative. The amount of paid sick/ carer’s leave accrual that can be taken in 12 months is unlimited (subject to the staff member satisfying the sick/carer’s leave requirements).

15 days paid leave credited 12 months in advance.

New staff will be credited with 30 days paid leave or a pro-rata amount where the contract is for less than two years.

15 days paid leave credited 12 months in advance.

15 days paid leave credited 12 months in advance.

Up to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion.

Casual staff have no entitlement for sick leave*.

*The casual rate includes a loading to compensate for lack of leave benefits.

Compassionate leave

Paid leave up to three days for each occasion.

Paid leave up to three days for each occasion.

Paid leave up to three days for each occasion.

Up to 2 days unpaid leave for each occasion.

Changing residence leave

Up to two days paid leave (provisions apply, see instruction)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Cultural leave

Up to 3 days unpaid leave

Up to 10 days unpaid leave

Up to 3 days unpaid leave

Not applicable

Aboriginal and Torres Islander leave

Up to 6 days paid leave plus additional paid special leave

Up to 6 days paid leave plus additional paid special leave

Blood donor leave

Paid leave in a timeframe and frequency as agreed with the manager

Unpaid leave in a timeframe and frequency as agreed with the manager

Paid leave in a timeframe and frequency as agreed with the manager

Not applicable

Notice

Staff need to give their manager notice of

  • their intention to take leave,
  • the reasons for taking leave and
  • the estimated length of absence

prior to taking personal leave (except for sick leave) or as soon as practicable.

Required evidence

Staff members are required to provide relevant evidence for their personal leave request to their manager who is responsible for approving their leave request.

Application and submission of leave request

Staff members must apply for all personal leave via ESS prior to taking leave or if not possible due to the nature of the personal leave, on their return from personal leave.

Inappropriate use of personal leave

Where evidence of inappropriate personal leave usage patterns by a staff member emerge, the University may either require documentary evidence for each future period of leave for a prescribed period of time (maximum 12 months) or, where justified, initiate disciplinary procedures.

Overview of the different personal leave types

Sick leave

Sick leave enables staff to take time off when personally ill, injured or incapacitated or to attend necessary medical appointments.

Notice

Where practicable an employee taking sick leave will notify RMIT within three hours of commencing leave and give an estimate of the duration of leave.

Required evidence

If any absence under sick leave exceeds three consecutive working days or six aggregate working days during a year of service, the staff member applying for sick leave must provide a certificate from a registered health practitioner stating that the staff member is/was unable to attend duty on the days of absence due to illness, otherwise the sick leave will be treated as unpaid leave. If appropriate evidence is subsequently provided by the staff member, the leave will be restored as paid sick leave.

The certificate will be provided on return to duty or within 10 working days of the notification of illness, whichever is the lesser period of time. Where the University has successfully contacted the staff member and the staff member has failed to provide proof of their illness, sickness or injury, within 10 working days the staff member will be deemed to be on unpaid sick leave. In the event that proof of illness, sickness or injury is provided at a later time the staff member’s unpaid leave will be converted to paid leave in accordance with the University’s leave policies and provisions. At the staff member’s request, the leave can be deducted from annual leave credits.

Conversion to half pay

A staff member may convert sick leave on full pay to sick leave on half pay at any time.

Sick leave without pay

If all accumulated sick leave and annual leave has been exhausted, the staff member will be on sick leave without pay which will be treated as leave without pay (contact Human Resources for further details).

Sick leave in advance of entitlement

In special circumstances the delegated authority may approve an application for additional sick leave to be paid to a staff member in advance of their accrued entitlement.

Recovery of sick leave on termination

Where a staff member terminates employment prior to the first anniversary of appointment, and the staff member has used in excess of 15 days sick leave, the University will be entitled to re-coup any days in excess of 15 days from the staff member’s termination payment, unless the staff member can demonstrate to the University’s satisfaction that the termination was due to ill health.

Cumulation of sick leave

Unused sick leave will be cumulative.

Illness while on annual or long service leave

Where a staff member is ill whilst on annual or long service leave:

  • Academic and professional staff – for 3 or more consecutive days
  • Vocational Education staff – for 5 or more working days

And the University receives a certificate from a registered health practitioner stating that the staff member was unfit for duty during that period, the absence will be counted as sick leave and the period of annual or long service leave will be re-credited, provided that the staff member has sufficient sick leave credits.

Infectious disease leave

Without deduction from sick leave credits, an employee who contracts a notifiable infectious disease or is isolated at the direction of a registered health practitioner due to contact with a person with such disease, will be granted paid isolation leave for the required period of absence (or as outlined in the relevant Workplace Agreement).

Carer’s leave

Carer’s leave enables staff to care for and support an ill member of the staff member’s immediate family or household (see definition) or a person for whom an Indigenous employee has an equivalent Indigenous kinship relationship due to a personal illness, injury or an unexpected emergency affecting the member.

The staff member taking carer’s leave must notify their manager within three hours of the commencement of such absence or as soon as practicable of

  • the name of the person requiring care
  • that person’s relationship with the staff member
  • the reason(s) for requiring the leave
  • the anticipated length of absence

Required evidence

Proof of illness needs to be supplied in line with the evidence requirements for sick leave. The medical certificate must establish the name of the person needing care and the name of the carer and that the illness is of such a nature that a person requires care or support.

Unpaid carer’s Leave

An employee is entitled to a further period of up to two days unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion. However, a staff member cannot take unpaid carer’s leave during a particular period if the staff member has paid sick/carer’s leave that they could take. A staff member may take unpaid carer’s leave as a continuous period of up to two days or any separate periods to which the staff member and the University agree.

Compassionate leave

Compassionate leave will be granted to a staff member due to the death, serious illness or injury of a member of the staff member’s immediate family or household (see definition).

In the case of serious illness, leave will only be granted where the staff member can provide a certificate from a registered health practitioner.

Additional compassionate leave

Additional paid or unpaid leave may be granted having regard to circumstances, such as a delayed funeral or the necessity of extensive travel.

Changing residence leave

Professional staff are entitled to two days leave with pay in each 24 months of service, when an employee moves their place of residence, not related to place of work.

Academic staff will be entitled to leave on full pay for up to two working days for the purpose of removal of household goods where:

  • the University requires the performance of all or the major part of duties, at a campus or site, other than at the previous place of work; and
  • the staff member elects to relocate to a residence closer to such a new place of work; or
  • where the staff member commutes by public transport, to relocate a residence more convenient for travelling to such a new place of work than the previous residence.

When applying for changing residence leave, staff must update their residential address through ESS.

Cultural leave

RMIT recognises the established religious and cultural obligations, practices and activities of its staff members. A staff member may be granted unpaid cultural leave to enable them to take time off to attend a cultural event of significance to the staff member, for example:

  • to participate in religious or national events or days with which the staff member is culturally associated
  • to fulfill cultural, customary or traditional law obligations related to the culture with which the staff member of staff member’s partner, family or community group identifies

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leave

Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have responsibilities for a significant level of cultural and ceremonial obligations. These include but are not limited to: preparing for and attending community business; National Aboriginal and Islander Observation Committee Week functions; National Sorry Day and/or other relevant cultural duties and events; and fulfilling ceremonial and community obligations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff will be granted six days per year paid leave for cultural and ceremonial obligations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Additional paid special leave may be approved by the University as agreed with the staff member.

Blood donor leave

Blood donor leave enables staff for the purpose of donating blood during working hours. Staff may only take blood donor leave in a timeframe and frequency as agreed by the manager. An absence of two hours is normally sufficient for this purpose.

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