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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Other forms of leave

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Bereavement leave

Employees are entitled to be absent from work in the event of the death of a member of their immediate family or household.

The term “immediate family or household member” includes:

  • a spouse / partner
  • a relative of the employee or employee’s spouse / partner including:
    (a) a child (including adopted, step or ex-nuptial)
    (b) a parent (including foster, step or legal guardian)
    (c) a grandparent
    (d) a grandchild, or
    (e) a sibling or step sibling
  • any person who usually resides with the employee.

Permanent and fixed-term employee

Paid leave

Permanent and fixed-term employees may take up to 10 days paid bereavement leave in the event of the death of a member of their immediate family or household.

Additional paid leave may be granted at the department’s discretion.

Unpaid leave

Unpaid bereavement leave may be taken by agreement with the department.

Casual employees

Casual employees can take unpaid time off work, or leave work upon the death of an immediate family or household member in Australia. The casual employee should discuss their leave requirements with their manager and agree on the time they’ll be away from work. If no agreement is reached, the employee can be absent from work for up to two days per occasion. The casual employee will not be paid while they’re absent from work.

Evidence required

The department may request evidence of death in the form of a death notice or other written evidence.


General Conditions of Employment Award No. 3 of 2008 (Consolidated), Part VI clause 4

Defence force leave

What leave arrangements are available to me as a part-time member of the Australian Defence Forces?

  • You can receive up to 20 working days leave on full pay in any one year.  This paid entitlement is in addition to any payment made by the Defence Force.  (A leave year for defence force leave is from the anniversary of your date of appointment).
  • You are also able to receive additional leave of not more than 10 working days in any one year to undertake initial training upon becoming a member of the Defence Force. This paid entitlement is in addition to any payment made by the Defence Force.
  • An additional 10 workings days in any leave year may be granted to enable you to undertake additionally required Defence Force service. This entitlement provides for an amount equal to the employee’s normal salary for the period of leave, less any Defence Force pay or allowance received by the employee in respect of that period.

Can I access Defence Force leave if I am a fixed-term employee?

Yes. Fixed-term employees can access Defence Force leave after completion of three months continuous service. However, if your Defence Force service leave extends beyond your fixed-term contract expiration, then Defence Force leave will only be paid to the end of the contract period.

What documentation do I need to provide in order take Defence Force leave?

When you apply for any Defence Force leave, you need to provide certification from the respective service advising of the necessity for you to attend or your eligibility to attend. Upon your return to work from leave, you must provide a certificate of attendance. Both certificates or notices should be signed by the commanding officer in Tasmania of the relevant Defence Force Unit.

What if I am required to give continuous service as a member of a Defence Force?

If you are required to give continuous service, other than as a part-time member as a result of your voluntary enlistment at a time when Australia has declared to be at war or due to call-up or conscription at any time under a law of the Commonwealth, you will be granted leave for the period who are required to continuously serve. This leave will be without pay or on such other terms as the Minister may determine.

Does my Defence Force leave count as service for all purposes?

Yes, however, if leave without pay is granted for continuous Defence Force service, only the period not exceeding six months is to be taken into account for the purpose of accruing recreation leave.

What if I get sick on Defence Force leave, or if I am injured?

If you become sick or are injured in the course of Defence Force leave and this necessitates your absence from employment beyond that period, you may be granted leave on the following terms:

  • if the Defence Force is not paying compensation for your absence then the leave may be granted as personal leave;
  • if the Defence Force does pay compensation, and the amount of compensation is equal to, or exceeds the personal leave you would have been entitled to from the State Service, then the leave will be granted without pay; or
  • if the Defence Force does pay compensation, and the amount is less than you would have been received for personal leave, then the difference will be paid to you and your personal leave entitlements will be reduced accordingly.

Additional information

Refer also to the State Service Regulations and the website of the Defence Reserves Support organisation (external link).

Emergency service activities

What are emergency service activities?

Emergency service activities are when an employee, who is a registered volunteer in a specified emergency service organisation is requested to respond to an emergency situation involving volunteer assistance during normal working hours.

What types of emergency service volunteers are covered?

Officers and State Service employees who are registered volunteers with the:

  • Tasmania Fire Service;
  • Tasmanian Ambulance Service; and
  • State Emergency Service.

What notification or approval requirements are needed?

Requests for leave is to be provided to your Manager and should include full information, such as the requirement for absence and the likely length of such absence. Any approval for leave will also need to consider if the officer or employee is able without undue disruption to the operational requirements of the Agency to be released to assist in responding to the emergency.

What do I need to provide following an approved period of leave?

It will be necessary for you to complete any leave applications, together with a copy of the written verification, to be lodged immediately after the event.

Will my leave entitlement change?

Leave to attend an emergency situation where granted shall not affect entitlements for leave accrual and related benefits.

What types of emergency service activities are not covered?

Regular rostered activities/events or training are not included.

Flexible work leave

These arrangements are intended to help employees balance their work and personal life.

Flex time

Flextime may be available by agreement with your supervisor.  It is a system that allows you some flexibility to choose your own hours of work, however, you will usually still need to attend work between certain core hours (normally 10am until 4pm).  Employees on flex time record their start, finish and lunch times each day, and by working extra on some days, can build up extra hours to be taken as time off later.  If you are on flex time, you will need to discuss the details, especially any time off you wish to take, with your supervisor.

Part-time work

Employees are classified as part time if they work less than the normal amount of full time hours per fortnight, but still have a regular work cycle.  They are paid a proportion of the equivalent full time salary.  Annual leave also accumulates on a proportionate basis.  If you have a change in circumstances, you might be able to negotiate with your supervisor to move to part time work.  Many employees of the State Service job share - a system where two or more people work in the same position on different days or times.  Speak to Human Resources if you need further information.

Non standard and variable starting and finishing times

If you have commitments outside of work, for example children at school or in child care, you may be able to negotiate more practical starting or finishing times. You will need to negotiate the details with your supervisor to ensure the operational needs of your section are met.

Working from home

Working from home on an occasional or regular basis depending upon the particular circumstances may be available. Working from home is not for the purpose of undertaking primary care duties for children on a long term basis. Talk to your supervisor and human resources if you would like to explore this possibility.

Breastfeeding at work

You are entitled to lactation breaks and, wherever practicable, an area suitable for breastfeeding will be made available for you.

Study assistance

You may be entitled to receive leave with or without pay for the purposes of further study and is usually only given where the study will benefit the organisation.  Check with Human Resources for further information.

Jury service

Do I get paid if I have to attend court for jury duty?

You will be granted leave with pay for the whole period you are required to attend court for jury service.

What if I am summoned for jury duty while I am on leave?

Your leave will be credited for the time spent on jury duty.

Leave without pay

How much leave without pay (LWOP) can I apply for?

You can apply for a continuous leave of absence for a period of up to three years, although it is unusual for the department to approve an absence of more than one year in each instance.  If fixed-term employees are granted LWOP, it will only be up to the conclusion of their current contract of employment.

The Minister administering the State Service Act 2000 may, under highly exceptional circumstances and on the recommendation of the Secretary, approve an extension of LWOP beyond three years. Applications for extending LWOP must be made through the Director Corporate Services.

On what basis is leave without pay approved?

Leave without pay for a period of up to three years may be granted at the discretion of the Secretary.  Generally, leave without pay will only be approved if there is a benefit to the agency and in consideration of the:

  • benefit to the Department's provision of services
  • operational needs of the Department
  • capacity to satisfactorily backfill the employee's position
  • benefit of such leave to an individual's personal growth and development.

What will happen to my position during my absence?

The department will determine whether an employee's position will:

  • be filled on a fixed-term basis and the employee will return to the position on completion of their leave;
  • remain vacant and the employee will return to the position on completion of their leave;
  • be abolished and the employee will be assigned new duties at their substantive classification on return from leave; or
  • be declared vacant and filled on a permanent basis and the employee will be assigned new duties at their substantive classification on return from leave.

If either of the latter two points are applicable, an employee will be required to sign an agreement outlining all the terms and conditions applicable to his/her approved leave before proceeding on LWOP.       

What should I do about my superannuation contributions during LWOP?

Employees are solely responsible for the continuation or the deferment of their superannuation fund contributions.

What effect does LWOP have on other leave entitlements?

Where the total period of leave without pay amounts to more than 20 working days (in aggregate) in any sick leave year, the whole of that leave is not service for the purposes of:

  • calculating an employee's entitlement to recreation leave and long service leave
  • determining the day on which an employee's sick leave entitlement accrues
  • determining the day on which an employee is entitled to any salary increment.

Can I return to work earlier than originally intended?

An employee may apply in writing to return from LWOP earlier than originally agreed however approval remains at the discretion of the Secretary.

Long service leave

Am I eligible for long service leave (LSL)?

All employees are eligible for LSL after 10 years "continuous" employment.  Service includes time as a fixed-term employee, as well as time on probation.

What is continuous employment?

For the purposes of LSL, "continuous" employment means service that has not been interrupted by a break in employment from the state service.  Employment is still regarded as continuous where an employee takes any period of:

  • long service leave
  • recreation leave or sick leave
  • any other period of approved leave of absence
  • any period of absence of up to 3 years from duty so long as during that absence the employee is in receipt of a pension under the Retirement Benefits Act 1993
  • any period of absence of up to 12 months from duty arising from redundancy or standing down so long as the employee is re-employed within that 12 months after being made redundant or stood down
  • any period of absence of up to 12 months from duty because of ill-health so long as the employee is re-employed within that 12 months after ceasing employment and is not entitled to a pension under the Retirement Benefits Act 1993.

The continuous employment of an employee is not interrupted if the employee is appointed or transferred to another position in the employment of the State so long as the employee commences duty in that position within a period of three months after being so appointed or transferred.

The continuous employment of an employee is interrupted if:

  • an employee resigns or retires and is re-employed 3 months or more after resigning or retiring
  • a period of three months or more occurs between periods of employment of that person.

How does my LSL accrue?

Full-time employees accrue 6.5 working days with pay for each year of continuous employment.

Part-time employees accrue LSL on a pro rata basis according to the hours they work during a year. Unlike full-time employees, part-time employees are credited with both paid and unpaid LSL credits.  The unpaid leave is the difference between paid leave credited for the year and 6.5 days (i.e. the full-time entitlement).  Part-time employees taking long service leave are treated as if they were full time employees i.e. they take a combination of paid and unpaid leave.

The length of LSL for part-time employees, made up of both paid and unpaid LSL, cannot exceed the period of LSL to which the employees would have been entitled as full-time employees. Unpaid LSL in excess of 20 days, if taken in conjunction with paid LSL, is not taken into account when calculating entitlements to sick, recreation, long service or any other leave.

Any period of leave without pay (except sick leave) which in aggregate is more than 20 working days in a year, is not taken into account for the accrual of LSL.

Do I have to take long service leave all at once?

No, it can be taken in one or several periods, but there is a minimum of five days.

Can I be paid in advance and does it differ from my normal salary?

An employee is entitled to be paid in advance for periods of LSL. The salary payable during LSL is that which would normally be received while at work and includes increments and loadings for part-time and casual employees. However, shift, availability, stand-by, call back, higher duties allowances and overtime are not payable during periods of LSL.

What if I am sick while on long service leave?

If an employee is sick for a period of three or more days during a period of LSL, a medical certificate from a legally qualified medical practitioner must be provided if the employee requires re-crediting of the leave. The employee must have full-pay sick leave credits available before LSL will be re-credited.

What if I leave the state service before reaching ten years service?

If an employee has completed at least seven years but less then 10 years continuous service and ceases employment, under certain circumstances he/she may be entitled to a pro rata LSL allowance.  Such an allowance can only be approved by the Secretary.

What is the maximum number of days that I can accumulate?

Employees are not entitled to be credited with a period of LSL in excess of 100 days unless permitted to do so by the Premier.

If an employee feels that exceptional circumstances exist such that they should be credited with a period of LSL in excess of 100 days they must make an application in writing through the Secretary to the Premier. Permission would normally only be granted when the:

  • application results from serious personal or family circumstances
  • circumstances were beyond the control of the employee
  • employee gives an undertaking that his/her balance will be reduced to less than 100 days by an agreed date.

Can I transfer my long service leave from one jurisdiction to another?

Some Government employers in Australia recognise continuity of service when moving from one jurisdiction to another.  This means you may not have to wait 10 years before beginning to accrue long service leave in the new jurisdiction.  Check with Human Resources to see whether this could apply to you.

Parental leave

Find out more about parental leave.

Personal leave

Find out more about personal leave.

Recreation leave

How much annual leave am I entitled to?

State Service employees are entitled to 20 working days recreation leave on full pay for each completed year of employment.  The leave year starts on 1 October, however your leave entitlements will be pro rata, based on the proportion of the leave year you have been employed.

Part time employees accrue recreation leave on a pro rata basis according to the hours they work during a year.

Do I have to take it all at once?

You may split up your annual leave into several periods, depending on the operational requirements of your work area.

What are compulsory leave days?

The closure of Government offices over the Christmas/New Year break results in compulsory recreation leave days (usually three) which are deducted from any balance that has accrued.  Employees required to work the Christmas/New Year break are not deducted leave for days actually worked.

What if I get sick on annual leave?

If you become ill while taking annual leave, you can apply to deduct those days from your sick leave and have the days concerned re-credited to your annual leave.  You will however need to provide a medical certificate.

Special leave

What is special leave?

Special leave covers leave in relation to special circumstances, such as the serious illness of a near relative, participation in a national or international sporting or cultural event, pressing needs of the employee or emergency service activities.

Special leave may be granted for the following reasons:

  • attending the funeral of a close friend
  • attending to emergency repairs of home as a result of storms or floods etc
  • the serious illness of a near relative (NB special leave will not be granted to an employee who is entitled to carer's leave in respect of that relative. However, if the employee's carer's leave entitlement has been fully utilised the employee can apply for special leave in accordance with the special leave entitlements)
  • participating in national or international sporting and cultural events
  • any other circumstance considered by the Department to be special and extraordinary.

How much special leave am I entitled to?

If you are granted special leave, in each leave year, it cannot exceed three days if you were employed after 1 July 1990, and not exceed 5 days if you were employed prior to 1 July 1990.

What doesn't special leave include?

Special leave is not granted in the following circumstances:

  • marriage of the employee
  • inability to attend work because of transport strike or inclement weather.

Sporting and cultural events

Do I need to provide any documentation for sporting or cultural events?

Sporting and cultural leave are discretionary forms of leave and are not granted automatically.  The Secretary may grant an employee leave with pay to participate in a recognised sporting or cultural event at national or international level as:

  • a participant
  • an official of a team or other body, competing or participating in that event
  • an official engaged in the administration of that event.

Eligible employees may be granted sporting and cultural leave on the following conditions:

  • The employee's application for leave must be accompanied by written evidence from the relevant sporting or cultural body clearly stating the nature of the event, whether the employee will be a paid representative, and the fact that the employee was selected on merit, i.e. through competition for sporting events.
  • Where the employee will be paid for his/her representation, eg retainer or other means, approval must be sought from the Secretary. NB: paid representatives are unlikely to be granted approval for sporting and cultural leave unless they can demonstrate financial hardship.
  • The employee must be representing Tasmania at a national event or the employee must be representing Australia at an international event.
  • Leave will not be granted to allow for participation in selection trials or for training purposes.
  • Applications, together with supporting evidence from the relevant association, must be received prior to the date of the sporting or cultural event.

Where the event will extend beyond the leave available under these provisions, a separate application for recreation leave, long service leave or leave without pay should be submitted for consideration.  Employees not granted sporting or cultural leave may be eligible for leave without pay.

State Service Accumulated Leave Scheme (SSALS)

What is SSALS?

SSALS stands for the State Service Accumulated Leave Scheme.  It allows you to bank a proportion of your regular salary, and then take paid leave on the same proportionate salary for an agreed period of time.  For example, you could work for three years on ¾ pay, then take the fourth year off on the same ¾ rate of pay.  This scheme provides a flexible working option for all employees, allowing you, for example, to take a holiday, study or spend more time with your family while still receiving a wage.

Click here for more information on SSALS

State Service Management Office

Phone: 03 6232 7040

Use the Tasmanian Government Directory to find individual staff contact details

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