Purchased Leave Scheme

1.0      Overview

The Purchased Leave Scheme is intended to provide flexibility in employment for staff members with family responsibilities and for staff who wish to extend their leave options for personal reasons. Under this scheme, within a twelve (12) month period, a staff member is entitled to a minimum of two weeks and up to a maximum of eight (8) weeks paid absence in addition to an annual leave entitlement, with a commensurate reduction in total salary for the twelve (12) months. Purchased leave will not attract leave penalty.

2.0      Application

2.1    All staff members (excluding casual staff) are eligible to apply to their supervisor for agreement to purchase leave and work a reduced year. Staff participation in the scheme is optional and at the request of the staff member. Approval by the University to participate in the scheme will depend on balancing operational requirements with increased flexibility options and choice for staff.

2.2    Applications for the scheme must be made in writing to the Head of School/Organisational Unit and must contain the following information:

  • the proposed dates of annual leave to be taken during the year (annual leave forms to be completed);
  • the proposed dates of the purchased leave;
  • an indication of the employee's preference regarding the level of superannuation contributions during the year.

2.3    Once approved, documentation is forwarded to the appropriate Client Service Team Manager, Human Resource Services for action

  Click here for an Application Form.

3.0    Conditions

3.1    Participation in the scheme is for a period of no less than one calendar year, ie 1 January to 31 December, and is to be renegotiated annually (usually prior to the beginning of the year).

3.2    An application to participate in the scheme will be treated as an application to annualise salary payments, to be paid in twenty-six (26) equal instalments across the fifty-two (52) week period, thereby spreading the salary impact of what is effectively up to eight (8) weeks leave without pay.

3.3    A staff member’s participation in the scheme will be recorded in writing, and a copy of this record will be maintained on the staff member’s personal file. The timing of the agreed purchased leave is managed and recorded by the supervisor. It is generally expected that the staff member and the supervisor will agree on the time of taking leave at the commencement of the twelve (12) month period.

3.4    The agreed purchased leave must be taken in one block. Where a staff member is, for reasons beyond his/her control, unable to take the purchased leave within the agreed period, the staff member will not forfeit the leave but seek approval to have the leave deferred to be taken at a later stage. If the supervisor and the staff member agree that such leave cannot be deferred, salary will be adjusted accordingly.

3.5    All leave entitlements that accrue during the scheme will accrue and be paid on a proportional basis. All forms of leave accrued by a staff member prior to converting to a reduced working year will be balanced as at the date immediately prior to converting to the scheme and will be available to the staff member at the rate at which it accrued.

3.6    Either party, subject to three (3) months notice may initiate variation of the agreed term (to lessen or lengthen the agreed term as appropriate). However, in exceptional circumstances, eg demonstrated financial hardship, and with the agreement of the University, an employee may be allowed to cease participation in the Purchased Leave Scheme.

4.0    Annual Leave

4.1    Annual leave constitutes part of the annualised salary calculation. The annualised salary will consist of a proportion of base salary plus the value of pro rata annual leave. Further information relating to calculations is detailed in the Annualised Salary Scheme Policy and Procedure. Annual leave loading will continue to be paid on a pro rata basis during December each year.

4.2    Annual leave must be taken during the period for which agreement to participate in the scheme has been reached. It is expected that the staff member and the supervisor will agree on the time of taking annual leave at the commencement of the twelve (12) month period. The staff member must submit an Annual Leave Application Form in the usual manner (refer clause 2.0 Application).

4.3    Where a staff member, for reasons beyond his/her control, is unable to take the full annual leave entitlement within the agreed period, the staff member will not forfeit the accrued leave but seek approval to have the leave deferred to be taken at a later stage.

5.0    Superannuation

5.1    During the period a staff member participates in the scheme, their superannuation contribution will be based on their actual salary for that year. If a staff member wishes to maintain superannuation contributions at a notional full-time rate they will be responsible for making the necessary arrangements and for maintaining both the notional full-time rate for the employee's and the University contribution.

5.2    Staff members who are considering applying for the scheme should contact the Superannuation Officer, Ms Ingrid Bonnor, extension 15259, email Ingrid.Bonnor@newcastle.edu.au .

6.0    Workers' Compensation

6.1    Normal workers compensation rules, regulations, policy and procedure will apply.

7.0    Overtime and Penalty Payments

7.1    Payments for overtime and shift/other penalties will be paid at the standard (non-annualised) rate for the appropriate time worked.