HR Tips Q1 2019 - PDR and Leave management at the University


The University expects all continuing staff and staff on fixed term contracts of greater than 12 months to participate in the University’s Planning, Development and Review (PDR) process.

Setting work objectives is central to PDR and establishes a framework for review and feedback. The Objective Setting meeting, which takes place before 31 March 2019, is an important opportunity for you and your staff to discuss meaningful work objectives which contribute to their career goals and align to the University’s strategic direction.

When setting objectives, it is useful to consider:

  • How does my staff member’s role support the strategic priorities of my School/Branch and the University?
  • How can the objectives be measured? What evidence, data and feedback will be available to enable ongoing review?
  • What challenges can I anticipate my staff member having to achieve the objectives?
  • What assistance will my staff member need, and what development activities will support them to achieve their objectives?

Online modules which provide important and practical tips for both managers and staff are available to support you to engage effectively in these conversations. Undertaking the online modules prior to completing PDR meetings is highly recommended for both staff and managers.

Leave Management

PDR also gives you an opportunity to discuss with your staff their proposed leave plans and to remind them of their obligation to record leave in Staff Services Online (SSO). You can expect your staff member to record their proposed leave plans for the year in the PDR conversation record so you can discuss this when you meet.

It is also important to regularly talk with your staff about their leave plans to both ensure they are taking leave and to actively manage any excess leave accruals. Enabling staff to take leave to rest and recuperate contributes to their health and wellbeing, helps to maintain a positive workplace culture and increases productivity.

Excess leave means staff are not getting the benefit of their leave and also creates a financial liability for the University. The University is required to pay out any unused annual or long service leave when a staff member leaves the University.

Excess leave is where a staff member has accrued:

  • An annual leave balance of over 30 working days (35 for shift workers), pro-rated for part-time staff, and/or
  • A long service leave balance of over 80 working days, pro-rated for part-time staff.

It is important that you work with your staff to reduce their excess leave balance by taking leave at a time that suits you both.  Once staff have an excess leave balance you are required, under the University’s Workforce Management Policy, to make a leave plan with them, which could include directing your staff member to take leave.

Did you know that staff may reduce an excess long service leave balance by cashing out up to 30 days of their entitlement?

The Managing Staff Excess Leave Accruals Procedure details the process to manage staff with excess leave and to guide your communications with staff on this topic.

PDR Timeframes

PDR Objective Setting meetings for 2019 should take place prior to 31 March 2019 and be confirmed in SSO by 12 April 2019. If you took the opportunity to set objectives for 2019 during your Final Review Meeting for 2018, please remember to record this as two meetings in SSO (one 2018 final review meeting and one 2019 objective setting meeting).

Where can I get more information?

Further information about PDR, including the latest PDR Conversation Record Forms, learning and development opportunities and a Quick Reference Guide for uploading your PDR into SSO are available here.

For any questions about leave management and managing excess leave, contact your Human Resources Advisor.

Tagged in HR general, HR Tips, HR, PDR, Leave Management