Leave policy

Version number 1.2 | Version effective 21 September 2020
Leave policy


This policy applies to all employees of the Department of Education (the department).


This policy provides key principles for the management and use of leave by employees across the department.

Policy statement

The department is required to provide employees with paid and unpaid leave in accordance with legislative provisions and is committed to doing so in a way that supports employees to manage their work and personal commitments.


  • Employees can apply to access both paid and unpaid leave in accordance with their applicable industrial instrument. Employees engaged on a part-time arrangement will have all applicable leave entitlements calculated on a pro-rata basis.
  • Employees are encouraged to use their leave entitlements throughout their employment in order to maintain a healthy balance between work, recreation, family and other commitments.
  • Requests to access both paid and unpaid planned leave will be considered in a timely, fair and reasonable manner.
  • The department may take appropriate disciplinary action when an employee is absent from work, without approved leave, and without providing reasonable justification for the unexplained absence.
  • Extended Special Leave may be granted in special circumstances; however, an application for extended special leave, for the purpose of departmental employees engaged under the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016 to undertake work in a non-state school, will not be granted.


All employees

  • Follow processes and requirements outlined in the Employee leave procedure.
  • Consider operational requirements of the work unit when applying for planned leave.
  • Maintain open and honest communication with their manager, principal, supervisor or nominated contact point regarding planned and unplanned leave.

Additional requirements for managers, principals and supervisors

  • Consider all leave requests in a timely manner and approve if the leave applied for is appropriate for the circumstances and that entitlement exists. 
  • Consider planned leave requests in a fair and equitable manner, taking into consideration operational requirements of the work unit.
  • Consider human rights when making decisions about leave requests.
  • Facilitate open, supportive and honest communications with employees regarding their planned and unplanned leave requests. Ensure requests for leave are only authorised by the appropriate delegated officer as outlined in the HR Delegations Manual (DoE employees only).
  • Ensure employees are aware of the confidential professional counselling services available to all employees, through the department’s Employee Assistance provider, as appropriate.





Any person employed by the department in a permanent, temporary or casual capacity.

Industrial instrument

An instrument that has legal application with respect to minimum entitlements to those employees covered within its scope. This includes Awards, Certified Agreements and Directives.

Nominated contact point

The person or point (e.g. message bank) to be contacted in the event of an absence.


Proportionate allocation of entitlement based on an employee’s hours of work.



Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Leave policy

Review date

21 June 2021
Attribution CC BY