Workforce Management

This policy establishes the principles and procedures for the University’s workforce management practices. Practices that are inclusive, promote equity and diversity among staff and are informed by the preferences of staff and the strategic and operational requirements of the University.


Absence from work on account of 'Catastrophic' or 'Extreme' fire danger days

The purpose of this information is to provide Human Resources Branch staff with support in the provision of HR advice to University staff who are absent from work on account of ‘Catastrophic’ or ‘Extreme’ fire danger days.

Printable version

  • What is a 'Catastrophic' or 'Extreme' Fire Danger day?

    The Country Fire Service (CFS) uses a Fire Danger Rating system to help inform the public of the level of bushfire risk and recomended action that should be taken for each risk category. The Fire Danger Rating is not a predictor of how likely a bushfire is to occur, but how dangerous it could be if it did occur.

    At the top tier of the rating system is the rating of ‘Catastrophic’ and ‘Extreme’ fire days.

    It is essential that staff members in bushfire-prone areas regularly check the CFS website for how this might impact on them and their family.

  • What if I am required to leave work on account of a school closure or some other reason related to the Fire Danger Rating system?

  • What forms of leave might be available to a staff member?

    Personal Leave

    A staff member (excluding casuals) is entitled to personal leave to provide care or support to a member of their family or household where that person requires care or support because of an unexpected emergency. Staff members accrue 15 working days (on a pro rata basis for part time workers) of personal leave per year. 

    Annual Leave

    A staff member can apply to use their accrued annual leave for fire danger days. 

    Special Leave

    In the event of absences from work caused by an emergency circumstance, members of staff (other than casuals) have an entitlement to take up to three (3) paid days of special paid leave per calendar year. Fixed term and continuing staff who are within the first year of their employment may access special paid leave provided that they have an annual leave credit equal to the amount of leave to be taken.

    It is important to note that an emergency circumstance will be assessed on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances of how a fire, or fire danger rated day impacts upon the staff member. For this reason it is important that a staff member notifies their supervisor of such an absence at the first opportunity. 

    Unpaid Leave

    Unpaid Carer’s Leave

    Staff members who cannot take paid personal leave are entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave for each ‘permissible’ occasion when a member of their family or household requires care or support because of an unexpected emergency. 

    Leave Without Pay

    In the event that a staff member (other than casuals) does not have an entitlement to a form of paid leave, they may apply to their Area Manager for leave without pay. Leave without pay may be approved at the discretion of the Area Manager.

  • What additional leave is available to volunteers who respond to an emergency on 'Catastrophic' or 'Extreme' Fire Danger Days?

    A volunteer of a recognised emergency management body (e.g. South Australian Country Fire Service, State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority) employed on a casual basis can apply for unpaid voluntary emergency management leave. 

    A volunteer of a recognised emergency management body employed on a fixed term or continuing basis is entitled to take up to five (5) days paid leave per calendar year to undertake ‘voluntary emergency management activities’ and up to one (1) day of paid leave per emergency as recovery.

    Any staff member seeking to take this leave (paid or unpaid) must give their supervisor notice as soon as reasonably practicable of the period or expected period of their absence. On request, the staff member must provide their supervisor with evidence that their absence is for engaging in activities arising out of their membership to the emergency management body and/ or documentary evidence of their membership, training requirements and call-outs attended. 


This information provides guidance to Supervisors on the management of Annual and Long Service Leave, for continuous and fixed term staff, during the COVID-19 situation.

COVID-19 Staff Leave management webpage



The purpose of these FAQs is to provide information in relation to the types of leave available to eligible University staff.



Annual leave

  • How do I apply for annual leave?

    Submit your leave application through Staff Service Online (SSO) 

  • How many days leave in advance can an employee take?

    SSO allows an employee to request up to two days in advance for annual leave.

    Should a manager wish to request that an employee be able to utilise more than this amount, they will need to write a justification for the request of leave in advance outlining the “business requirements”.

    The business case must take into consideration: 

    • Fixed term employees – sufficient leave will have accrued by the end of the fixed term period to cover the annual leave taken in advance
    • The deduction of annual leave to cover the Christmas close-down period (usually two to three days)
    • If the employee leaves the University the area will be liable for the overpayment due to leave taken in advance

    This request is to be submitted to Human Resources for action.

  • Can you cash-out annual leave?

    Annual leave cannot be cashed out.


Leave without pay (LWOP)


Long service leave (LSL)

  • How can I apply for LSL?

    Submit your leave application through Staff Service Online (SSO)

  • When can I take LSL?

    If you have qualified for LSL, you are entitled to take LSL when you choose, provided you have given your supervisor at least six months’ written notice. 
    You should, however, discuss your requirements with your supervisor first to ensure the LSL you are applying for fits in with the operational requirements of the workplace. 

  • When will I qualify for LSL and how much will I have?

    Unless you have been granted recognition of prior service (refer to clause 4.11.6 of the Enterprise Agreement), you will not be eligible to take LSL prior to achieving seven years continuous service with the University.

    LSL accrues at the rate of 6.5 working days for each year of service with the University, pro-rata to your employment fraction. 

  • Will I lose my LSL if I don’t reduce it?

    No, untaken LSL will not be lost. Where you have accumulated a LSL balance in excess of 80 working days, your supervisor may give you written notice to reduce your entitlement to 30 working days within a two year period.

  • What is the eligibility criteria for cashing out LSL?

    You may request to cash out LSL if you have accrued an entitlement to at least 65 days of LSL. 
    Applications to cash out LSL are limited to twice per year and must not exceed a total of 30 working days per year. 
    For further information, please refer to clause 4.11.5 of the University’s Enterprise Agreement (as amended). .

  • How can I cash out my LSL?

    In order to request payment in lieu of LSL, a Cashing Out of Long Service Leave Application Form needs to be completed and forwarded to Human Resources.

  • Am I entitled to LSL as a casual staff member?

    Yes, casual staff are entitled to long service leave under the University’s Enterprise Agreement and can take long service leave upon completion of seven years continuous service in the employment of the University. 
    Continuous service means employment where there has been no break in employment of more than eight weeks.

  • Is my prior service recognised by the University for LSL purposes?

    If you were working for an Australian University in a paid full-time or part-time capacity prior to commencing with the University, you are, subject to clause 4.11.6 of the Enterprise Agreement, eligible to have your prior service recognised for long service leave purposes. 

    If you are a professional staff member, and were working in the South Australian or Commonwealth Public Service immediately prior to commencing with the University (i.e. within the preceding two months) you are also eligible to have your prior service recognised. 

    To have your prior service recognised, fill out the Recognition of Prior Service Application Form and email it to Human Resources for processing. If you were employed by the University on a casual basis prior to being employed on a fixed term or continuing basis, you can apply to have your prior casual continuous service recognised for the purposes of long service leave. 
    To have your prior casual continuous service with the University recognised for the purposes of long service leave, send an email with your request to Human Resources.


Parental leave

For the purpose of these FAQs, parental leave also refers to and is inclusive of both maternity leave and adoption leave for eligible University staff.



Personal leave (sick/carers)

  • Under what circumstances can I use personal leave?

    As per clause 4.2 in the Enterprise Agreement (as amended) Personal leave can be used for Personal Leave, Sick Leave and Carers Leave. 

    • If you are unfit for work because of a personal illness, or personal injury, that affects you; or to provide care or support to a member of your family, or a member of your household, who requires care or support because of:
    • a personal illness, or personal injury; or
    • an unexpected emergency
  • What can I use carer’s leave for?

    As per clause 4.2 in the Enterprise Agreement (as amended) Personal leave can be used for Personal Leave, Sick Leave and Carers Leave. 

    • Carer’s/personal leave can be taken to provide care or support to a family or household member who requires care or support because of;    
    • a personal illness or personal injury
    • an unexpected emergency 
  • Am I able to take sick leave if I haven’t accrued the time?

    Sick leave or personal leave can not be taken in advance. You can only apply for the period of time you have actually accrued. If you require sick leave and do not have the time needed accrued you will need to apply for a different leave type.

    Sick leave without pay is an option if no other leave type is available. Staff should consult with their supervisor to discuss their options.


Other leave

  • Am I entitled to cultural obligation leave?

    Paid cultural obligation leave for a period of three working days is available for the purpose of fulfilling cultural requirements and obligations that are recognised as part of your identified culture or one with which your partner, family and/or community group identifies.

    In addition to the three paid working days leave absence, you will also be entitled to 10 days leave without pay in every two year period for ceremonial or cultural purposes, where you identify and are accepted as a member of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

    For more information please refer to clause 4.7 in the University’s Enterprise Agreement (as amended). 

  • Do I need to apply for cultural obligation leave?

    Yes. Submit your leave application through Services Services Online (SSO)

  • What is community service leave and when is it granted?

    Community service leave is available to all staff (other than casuals) and may be granted for the following purposes: 

    • Attendance for the purpose of jury service
    • Appearance as a witness in any case 
    • Undertaking emergency management activities, such as an emergency or natural disaster

    For more information please refer to clause 4.6 in the University’s Enterprise Agreement (as amended).

  • Jury Duty - how do I submit leave and manage payments?

    Jury Duty leave requests are submitted via SSO under Absence Name: Community Service Leave, Reason: Jury Service. 

    The Courts Administration Authority of SA advises they pay jurors for each day’s attendance: 
    You will receive an Income Statement from the Australian Taxation Office via your myGov account for you to claim this income in your annual tax return.

    The University will continue to pay you whilst you are on jury duty. The University can claim reimbursement for your wages by you and your manager completing the ‘Form 2 – Juror Claim (Employer Reimbursement)’:
    Complete this Juror Claim form, have your manager complete the Employer section and return it to the Sheriff’s Office by hand or scan it to

    The supervisor/manager that is advised on the claim form will receive a cheque. This cheque is to be given your local area Finance team which will be credited back into their budget.


Special Paid Parental Leave

Special Paid Parental Leave (SPPL) is a discretionary type of paid parental leave that may be available to fixed term or continuing staff who become the primary carer of a child less than one (1) year of age. To be eligible to apply for SPPL, the staff member must demonstrate a special case that supports payment of leave while they are the primary carer of a child under the age of one (1) year, in circumstances where they are not otherwise eligible for paid maternity or adoption leave. 

Printable version

  • What is the maximum entitlement to Special Paid Parental Leave?

    The maximum entitlement is 26 weeks paid leave.

  • How does Special Paid Parental Leave differ from other types of Paid Parental Leave?

    SPPL is a discretionary type of leave entitlement that is available to staff in special circumstances when they become the primary carer of a child under one (1) year of age and are ineligible for paid maternity or adoption leave.

  • How do I apply for SPPL?

    To apply, you will need to complete the Special Paid Parental Leave form providing sufficient detail, and/or evidence for the Head of School/Branch Head to fully understand and be able to assess the circumstance which gives rise to you being the primary carer of the child. 

  • Who approves SPPL?

    The Executive Director Human Resources will consider the recommendation of the Executive Dean/Area Manager prior to making a decision on the SPPL application. Approval of SPPL is at the discretion of the University.

  • How long do I need to have worked for the University to be eligible for SPPL?

    You are entitled to the full entitlement of 26 weeks if you have worked in a fixed term or continuing capacity for the University for a continuous period of 12 months or more. Your work will not to be continuous if there has been a break in engagement of 8 weeks or more.

    If you have not been employed by the University for 12 months or more, you may be eligible for SPPL on a pro-rata basis. Refer to the Pro-Rata Paid Parental Leave Procedure

  • If I am granted Special Paid Parental Leave, can my partner (who also works at the University) take Shared Paid Parental Leave?

    No. Shared partner leave only applies where one staff member of the employee couple is eligible for paid maternity or adoption leave. 

  • After my Special Paid Parental Leave ends can I come back to work on a reduced fraction?

    You can apply to your supervisor to return to work on a reduced fraction. You should provide a minimum of 3 months’ notice if you wish to return on a Voluntary Flexible Work Arrangement. This will enable your supervisor to consider your request, and where approved, take the necessary steps to accommodate your request.

  • Can my partner take concurrent partner leave while I am on SPPL?

    If your partner works at the University, they may be eligible for concurrent leave while you are on SPPL. Concurrent Partner Leave allows for up to 10 days of paid leave and up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave taken concurrently with the primary carer’s leave. Concurrent Partner Leave is applied for on the Parental Leave form and is subject to approval of the SPPL.

  • What happens if my contract comes to an end during the period of approved SPPL?

    If your contract ends, so will your entitlement to SPPL. If your contract is renewed during the approved period of SPPL your payments will be continued.

  • What circumstances may warrant the granting of Special Paid Parental Leave?

    The following is not designed to be an exhaustive list of all the circumstances, but may provide guidance as to the types of circumstances that may warrant consideration for SPPL. 

    • The original primary carer of a child under the age of one (1) year is deceased or seriously ill and unable to provide care; or
    • A foster parenting arrangement, for a child under the age of one (1) year; or
    • Emergency or respite care for a child who is under the age of one (1) year; or
    • A child under the age of one (1) year, or their sibling is very ill and/or has very special needs, such that the staff member as primary carer stays at the hospital/home with the child who is under one year, while the other parent looks after other child/children.
    • A parent in a same sex surrogacy arrangement where neither partner is eligible for parental leave
    • The normal primary caregiver of the child is called away on an overseas assignment or emergency relief assignment and is unable to perform their duties as primary caregiver.
  • What evidence do I need to support an application for SPPL?

    In order to have an application for SPPL considered, you will be required to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the Head of School/Branch Head that your circumstances are special and evidence of the circumstances supporting your caring responsibilities, including for example: 

    • A birth certificate for the child
    • Medical certificates and/or declaration/letter from a medical practitioner 
    • Death certificate
    • Letter / declaration / documentation from the Foster Care agency or respite care agency
    • Contract of surrogacy
    • Statutory declaration
    • Letter from employer/relief agency
  • From whom may I obtain additional information/advice?

    If you require further information, or wish to clarify the type of information you need to provide, contact your HR Advisor.


Leaving the University

The purpose of these FAQs is to list the steps to be taken when a staff member is leaving their employment with the University.The supervisor and staff member may use this to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed prior to or on the staff member’s last day of employment.

Printable version


Managing a temporary vacancy or leave of absence


Managing excess annual leave accrued by your staff members

This FAQ will assist you to address excess annual leave accrued by your staff members. 

  • Why is it important for my staff members to take leave?

  • How do I know if my staff members have excess annual leave?

    Enabling your staff to take leave from the workplace to rest and recuperate makes an important contribution to their health and wellbeing. By ensuring your staff take leave, you also play a key role in the reduction of leave liability costs to the University.

  • How do my staff members accrue excess annual leave?

    Your staff member has excess annual leave if they have a balance of 30 days or over. This is pro-rated for part-time staff. For example, if one of your staff members is working 0.6 FTE, they will have excess annual leave if they have over 18 days accrued.

    Shift workers have an excess annual leave balance at 35 days or over which is also pro-rated for part-time staff. 

  • What can I do to address excess annual leave accrued by my staff members?

    Your staff member should plan to take any excess annual leave as soon as practicable. 

    During PDR discussions, supervisors should encourage their staff to plan, schedule and take their 20 days (or pro-rata equivalent) annual leave each year. Staff who do not take their leave, do not have a plan in place to manage their leave and whose accrued leave is greater than 30 days, may be given three months’ notice, in writing, by their supervisor to plan for and reduce their leave balance.

    If they do not reduce their leave balance to 30 days or less, or make arrangements to take their excess leave within the three month period, their supervisor may direct them to take leave immediately, or together agree a leave management plan to reduce their leave balance to less than 30 days.

    You are required to consider a request for a VFWA in the context of reasonable business needs. As a manager, you may approve a part-time arrangement for your staff member on the condition that excess leave is taken in the first place to establish the part-time working pattern. This arrangement would continue until your staff members' annual leave balance reduces to an amount no longer considered excess. 

  • What can I do to address excess annual leave for a staff member who has requested a VFWA (reduced fraction)?

    You are required to consider a request for a VFWA in the context of reasonable business needs. Excess leave (either a current balance or an excess that would arise as a result of a reduced employment fraction) should be addressed before the reduced fraction commences.

    If your staff member already has an excessive leave balance prior to reducing their fraction, you could approve their request, on the condition that they move to the part time arrangement by taking leave for the reduced fraction until their balance is no longer excessive. Alternately, they could use a block of leave prior to starting their reduced fraction VFWA.

  • Where can I learn more?

    You can register to attend the Flexible Working Arrangements Masterclass which will inform you of the various arrangements available to staff. Through practical case studies and discussions with other people leaders, you will learn about the considerations you need to make when responding to requests for VFWA.

    You can refer to the Managing Staff Excess Leave Accruals chapter of the HR Handbook which provides the Workforce Management policy, procedure, forms and templates. 

    You can also contact your HR Advisor for advice in managing flexible working arrangements and addressing excess annual leave for your staff members.