Leave Without Pay Policy

Policy Code: HR1608


To detail the University's policy for staff seeking a period of leave without pay from their employment with the University.

The policy and associated procedure assists staff and their supervisors to clearly understand the eligibility criteria for a period of leave without pay.


This policy applies to all academic, general and TAFE teaching employees of the University who have continuing or fixed-term employment. This policy does not apply to casual or sessional staff members.


Term Definition
Continuing appointment Employment with no fixed end date and that does not include casual or sessional employment may be on either a full-time or fractional part-time basis. It infers an ongoing or permanent meaning to employment.
Continuous service A period of service at the University without a break (continuous employment).
Fixed-term employment Employment for a specified term or ascertainable period, for which where the employment contract will specify a period of employment (or circumstances in lieu of a finishing date) and the reason/s for the appointment being fixed-term as identified in the relevant industrial agreement. Fixed-term appointments may be on either a full-time or fractional part-time basis.
Secondment A fixed-term appointment for internal applicants only who have a substantive position to return to at the end of the secondment period.
Internal Secondment A Federation University staff member is the successful applicant in a Federation University Recruitment and Appointment for a fixed-term position.
External secondment A Federation University staff member is the successful applicant for a fixed-term position with an external organisation or another organisation requests the University's services, which results in a staff member working for the external organisation for a defined period of time.
Staff member Any person who is an academic, general and TAFE teaching employee of the University who holds a continuing or fixed-term contract of employment.
Supervisor The Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Deputy Dean, Associate Dean, Director, Manager or other staff member who has the responsibility for the management of the staff member.

Policy Statement

Leave without pay may be granted at the discretion of the University to enable a staff member to:

  • take up a limited-term appointment such as Research Fellowship or a temporary lectureship at another institution;
  • 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);
  • undertake a consultancy with a government, international organisation or other approved body;
  • undertake a program of study or carry out a research program or project which falls outside the provision of professional development at the University;
  • accompany a partner on extended leave or secondment;
  • settle affairs of a personal nature where an extended period of leave is required; for example, to execute an estate or care for dependants or family members in the case of illness, accident or bereavement;
  • extend personal leave where entitlements have been exhausted.

This list should be considered to be illustrative and not prescriptive. Other reasons may be acceptable and would be assessed by the Director, People and Culture on a case-by-case basis..

Leave without pay cannot be used in order to take up another appointment within the University.

A staff member must exhaust all annual leave entitlements prior to accessing leave without pay.  If the leave without pay request relates to an illness, all personal leave and long service leave entitlements must be exhausted prior to any leave without pay period commencing. Any exceptional circumstance may be considered at the discretion of the Director, People and Culture.

Requests for Leave without pay must be made within a timely manner, and as soon as reasonably practicable, or may impede the approval process. All decisions made by the University with regard to requests for leave without pay are entirely discretionary.

Staff members must make their own arrangements in relation to salary deductions, e.g. Union deductions, health benefits, vehicle leasing, superannuation contributions, salary sacrifice arrangements etc.


The Director, People and Culture (as the Approval Authority) is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure. 

The Associate Director, Organisational Development and Performance (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by the Director, People and Culture.

People and Culture have the responsibility for facilitating the drafting, signing and registration of the Leave Without Pay Agreement.

Supporting Documents

Leave Without Pay Procedure


The Leave Without Pay Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews' on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library; and
  3. notification forwarded by the Director, People and Culture to all Deans, Heads of Schools/Institutes/Directorates.