Employee leave procedure

Version number 3.8 | Version effective 17 November 2023
Employee leave procedure




This procedure provides employees and managers with the steps required to be followed when applying for or approving leave.


This procedure aids in the management of planned and unplanned employee leave in accordance with the relevant legislation, industrial instruments and/or directives as issued by the Public Service Commission and Minister for Industrial Relations (as may be amended from time to time). It should be read in conjunction with the Leave policy and Employee leave entitlements guideline which provides a summary of the range of leave entitlements available for employees including eligibility requirements and notification requirements.



  • Apply for the leave type which is appropriate in the circumstances and, if required, provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the reason for leave.
  • Submit planned leave requests in advance and with sufficient time to allow for verification of entitlements and work unit planning.
  • Use approved leave for the purpose for which it was requested.
  • Notify their manager, principal or supervisor of an address or telephone number where they can be contacted while on leave.
  • Notify their immediate supervisor (or alternative appropriate contact point) of any unplanned absence from work as soon as possible, advising the approximate period of the absence.
  • Maintain contact with their immediate supervisor to provide updates on wellbeing and expected duration of any period of unplanned leave.

Managers, principals and supervisors (HR delegate)

  • Consider all leave requests in a timely manner and approve them on the basis that the leave applied for is appropriate for the circumstances and that a leave entitlement exists.
  • Consider human rights when making a decision regarding an employee’s request for leave.
  • Review operational requirements of the work unit or department, and determine any required relieving arrangements prior to approving leave requests.
  • Review employee annual leave entitlements to ensure employees do not accrue to an excessive amount (i.e. accrual in excess of two years’ leave entitlement).
  • Facilitate open, supportive and honest communications with the relevant employee regarding the approval status of their leave request and possible justification for any refusal or requested amendment to a leave request.
  • Make a reasonable attempt to contact employees on unplanned absences to ensure their wellbeing and clarify the circumstances of the absence.
  • Support employees by offering the confidential professional counselling service (employee assistance program) during periods of hardship or unplanned leave.
  • Approve leave requests in accordance with the HR Delegations Manual (DoE employees only).

Payroll Services

  • Process leave in the payroll system.


Identify leave type

  • Employee refers to the Employee leave entitlements guideline (and source documentation as necessary) to identify the applicable leave for their situation and the associated entitlements. If unsure, discuss with your local HR team.
  • Employee confirms they have sufficient leave balance to cover the request (where applicable to the leave type).

1. Application for leave

Employee applies for the leave on the appropriate departmental form (as listed in supporting documents) or on line through MyHR (DoE employees only) (as appropriate for the leave type) providing sufficient notice of the dates requested.

2. Approval of leave

HR delegate to approve leave in accordance with Employee leave entitlements guideline and HR Delegations Manual (DoE employees only) in a timely manner.

Considerations when approving leave

In approving leave, the HR delegate should give consideration to good decision making and factors such as

  • eligibility requirements have been met; and
  • the employee’s reason for requesting the leave;
  • the duration of the leave request;
  • the leave type is appropriate for the purpose of the leave; and/or whether other forms of leave are available and might be more appropriate;
  • the length of the employee’s service;
  • the impact that the leave will have on the team; and
  • the impact that declining the leave will have on the employee.
  • the appropriate documentation is supplied where required e.g. for sick leave.

HR delegates should ensure that they:

  • balance departmental convenience with consideration of whether the employee’s reason for requesting the leave is beyond their control; and
  • keep consistency in mind; while situations and decisions will vary according to the situation, ensure that where possible, similar requests in similar situations have the same outcome.

Extended special leave

Extended Special Leave may be granted in special circumstances; however, an application for extended special leave, for the purpose of anyone engaged under the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016 to undertake work in a non-state school, will not be granted.

3. Documentation

Work unit to retain sufficient evidence provided as per the leave type. e.g. medical certificate, jury notification when required.  Refer to the Employee Leave Guidelines for further information and examples of evidence required.

4. Process leave

Payroll services processes the leave in the payroll system.





(Public sector employee)

A person is a public sector employee if they are employed under s12(1) of the Public Sector Act 2022 (Qld) as:

  • a public service officer; or
  • a general employee; or
  • a temporary employee.

General employee

A general employee is someone who is employed to perform work of a type not ordinarily performed by a public service officer. The basis of employment may be:

  • permanent (full-time or part-time); or
  • temporary for a fixed term (full-time or part-time); or
  • on a casual basis. 

Public service officer

A public service officer is a public service employee mentioned in s13 of the Public Sector Act 2022 (Qld), and includes a person employed as:

  • an officer;
  • a senior officer;
  • a senior executive; or
  • a chief executive.

Temporary employee

An employee engaged to perform work on a temporary basis whether full-time or part-time.



Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Leave Entitlements for Employees

3.0 Employee leave

Review date

05 March 2022
Attribution CC BY