Leave without pay

4.11.1 General

a) Teachers may be granted leave without pay for any period if good and sufficient reasons are applicable.

b) Generally, leave without pay will not be granted for short periods immediately before or after school vacations.

c) Leave without pay will not be granted in order to take up a teaching position with a NSW private or independent school.

d) Generally, unpaid leave exceeding five consecutive days in any incremental period does not count as service for salary increments.

a) Generally, temporary teachers will not be granted leave without pay during a temporary engagement unless special circumstances exist.

f) A total of more than five days leave without pay in any school year will result in a reduction of vacation pay on a pro rata basis.

g) Where a period of leave without pay does not exceed ten consecutive working days, salary is paid for any public holidays occurring during the period.

h) The following chart shows the effect on public holidays of a period of leave without pay taken following a form of half pay leave.

Leave Without Pay following Leave on Half Pay Public Holidays
No pay not exceeding five working days (following half pay not exceeding five working days) Full pay
No pay not exceeding five working days (following half pay exceeding five working days) Full pay
No pay not exceeding ten working days (following half pay not exceeding ten working days) Full pay
No pay not exceeding ten working days (following half pay exceeding ten working days) Half pay
No pay exceeding ten working days No pay

4.11.2 Categories of leave without pay

a) The most common circumstance for granting leave without pay is for personal reasons but there are many other categories of leave without pay which teachers may be granted.

b) The various categories of leave without pay and the conditions under which leave may be approved are distinct and separate from the provisions in respect of leave without pay for personal reasons.

a) Provisions for other categories of leave without pay follow those for personal reasons.

4.11.3 Leave without pay for personal reasons

4.11.3.1 Entitlement

a) Leave without pay for personal reasons is the category of leave granted to teachers who wish to take an extended absence from teaching.

b) Leave without pay for personal reasons such as travel interstate or overseas or for child rearing purposes is generally limited to a maximum of three years in a teacher’s career.

4.11.3.2 Eligibility

a) A minimum of two years current continuous permanent service, excluding temporary or casual service, must be completed before teachers are eligible to apply for leave without pay for personal reasons.

b) Following completion of a one year traineeship with financial assistance to undertake a District School Counsellors Course, Special Education Course, Teacher Librarian Course or other similar courses, teachers must serve for three years or as otherwise stated in the relevant deed of agreement before being eligible to apply for leave without pay for personal reasons.

c) A minimum of two years must elapse between each period of leave without pay for personal reasons.

d) Generally, a teacher whose service is unsatisfactory will not be granted leave without pay for personal reasons.

4.11.3.3 Conditions

a) Unless there are special circumstances an application for leave is to be submitted three months in advance and must state the first and last date of leave. Teachers seeking to proceed on leave on day 1 of term 1 are to submit their leave application three months prior to the end of the school year.

b) With the exception of any period of casual or temporary teaching undertaken with the Department, any period of teaching service completed while on leave without pay for personal reasons does not count for incremental purposes.

c) A period of leave without pay exceeding six months does not count as service for extended leave purposes.

d) A period of leave without pay of less than six months will count as service for extended leave purposes when a teacher has completed at least ten years paid service.

e) Teachers are eligible to take a combination of leave without pay and extended leave. The extended leave must precede the leave without pay except in the case where the leave is being taken prior to resignation or retirement. Irrespective of teachers’ entitlements, they do not have to exhaust accrued extended leave prior to the commencement of leave without pay.

f) In the case of a teacher on leave without pay for personal reasons, who becomes pregnant and whose anticipated date of birth falls within the approved period of leave, from the date the teacher advises of her pregnancy the remainder of the approved leave without pay or a period of twelve months, whichever is less, will not be debited against the total amount of leave without pay for personal reasons.

A teacher whose anticipated date of birth falls outside the approved period of leave is entitled at the end of the leave without pay to proceed to maternity leave.

4.11.3.4 Duration of leave and application

Eligible teachers (see 4.11.3.2) may take leave without pay for up to a maximum of 3 years and must apply to their principal (or director educational leadership in the case of principals).

Principals (or director educational leadership in the case of principals) will consider the request and approve/not approve the leave, and in the case of approval determine whether the total period applied for or part thereof, will be approved.

4.11.3.5 Right of return

a) Where the principal, or director of educational leadership, approves the leave, the teacher will retain right of return to their substantive position for a maximum period of three years, provided the total period of leave without pay for personal reasons taken in the teachers’ career does not exceed 3 years .

b) Should the teacher not return to their substantive position at the conclusion of their approved period of leave without pay, their employment may be subject to the provisions of Section 77A (1) (a) of the Teaching Service Act 1980.

4.11.3.6 Resumption of duty

a) Teachers who wish to resume duty prior to expiration of approved leave must give their principal at least one months’ notice in writing and apply to change the end date of their leave. Consideration of requests of this nature will take into account whether a replacement teacher has been engaged.

b) Teachers returning to duty following leave without pay should ensure that notification of their resumption is forwarded to the HR Shared Service Centre on the first day of duty.

4.11.4 Teaching while on leave without pay

While on leave without pay permanent teachers may undertake teaching with the Department on either a casual or temporary basis. Approval for casual or temporary teaching is an automatic part of the leave approval process.

4.11.4.1 Salary

For the purpose of this section a teacher includes a teacher in a promotion position.

a) A permanent teacher on leave without pay who undertakes teaching in any one engagement of

  • Less than four weeks full time; or
  • Less than two terms, one to four days per week

shall be deemed a casual teacher and be remunerated as such in accordance with clause 23 and schedule 4 of the Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award.

b) A permanent teacher on leave without pay who undertakes teaching in any one engagement of:

  • four weeks or more full time;
  • two terms or more one to four days per week

shall be deemed a temporary teacher and be remunerated as such in accordance with clause 22 and schedule 1A or schedule 1B of the award as appropriate.

4.11.4.3 Conditions of employment - permanent teachers on leave without pay who undertake teaching as a casual teacher

The rates of pay of casual teachers are loaded by 5 per cent to be inclusive of the following incidents of employment: sick leave, family and community service leave, special leave and leave loading. Entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act, 1955 and Determination 5 of 2006 (or successor) are not affected.

4.11.4.4 Conditions of employment - permanent teachers on leave without pay who undertake teaching as a temporary teacher

Temporary teachers have access on a pro rata basis to most of the conditions of permanent teachers.

4.11.4.5 Extended leave and long service leave

All periods of casual and temporary teaching will count as service for the purpose of accruing:

  • extended leave as per division 5 of the Teaching Service Act, 1980, if the teaching is as a temporary teacher
  • long service leave as per the Long Service Leave Act 1955, if the teaching is as a casual teacher.

4.11.4.6 Incremental progression

All periods of casual and temporary teaching undertaken in NSW government schools will count for the purpose of determining incremental progression.

4.11.4.7 Superannuation

Teachers should contact their superannuation fund to determine any impact of leave without pay on superannuation payments.

4.11.5 Other employment while on leave without pay

a) Teachers on leave without pay for personal reasons may engage in employment, including teaching, while overseas or interstate.

b) Teachers on leave without pay are not permitted to teach in an independent or private school in New South Wales.

c) Teachers wishing to undertake employment in New South Wales, with the exception of teaching undertaken in NSW government schools, must make written application for approval for private or secondary employment.

4.11.6 Further application for leave

Teachers must give at least three months’ notice if they wish to extend a period of leave without pay. Notice is to be given by way of submission of a further application for leave to principals, or the director educational leadership in the case of principals.

4.11.7 Resignation while on leave without pay

Should a teacher decide to resign while on leave without pay, their last day of service will be the date nominated on the separation form as the effective date or the last date of the approved leave, whichever is the earlier.

4.11.8 Australian Volunteers International

a) Teachers who are selected for service with the Australian Volunteers International may be granted up to two years leave without pay to participate in this voluntary scheme.

b) A minimum of two years current continuous permanent service must be completed before teachers are eligible to apply for leave of absence.

c) An application for leave setting out the first and last date of absence should be accompanied by documentary evidence verifying selection for and the period of service with the Australian Volunteers International.

d) The period of absence will not count as service for extended leave purposes.

e) If participation in the program involves full time teaching, the period of teaching service will count for incremental purposes.

f) Teachers who are contributors to a state government superannuation scheme do not have to pay the employer’s contributions while on leave.

g) Payment of personal contributions will be subject to the requirements of the particular scheme. See Chapter 12 for information on superannuation.

h) Leave for this purpose does not reduce the career limit of leave without pay for personal reasons imposed by section 4.11.3.1.b)

4.11.9 Compassionate reasons

a) In cases of emergency or compassionate circumstances, teachers may be granted leave without pay where a period of absence is required that is not covered by family and community service leave or where family and community service leave entitlements are exhausted.

b) In special circumstances teachers may apply to take leave of absence without pay for the period necessary to provide full time medical care for a family member who is seriously ill.

c) Applications for leave in these circumstances will be considered on an individual basis and where appropriate should be accompanied by documentary or medical evidence.

4.11.10 Competitors in eisteddfods or choral championships

Leave without pay not exceeding three days may be granted to teachers who are competitors in the City of Sydney or country Eisteddfods or interstate choral competitions.

4.11.11 Graduation ceremonies

a) Where family and community service leave has been exhausted leave without pay may be granted for the time necessary for attendance at a graduation ceremony of a spouse, partner, son or daughter at a university or tertiary institution.

b) Applications for leave without pay to attend other graduation ceremonies will be considered on their merits.

4.11.12 Days of religious significance

Where family and community service leave has been exhausted and members of any religious faith apply for leave to observe the holy days of their faith, they may be granted leave without pay or leave as a charge against extended leave, if due. See the Multicultural NSW list of Days of Religious Significance.

4.11.13 Intrastate transfers

a) Where a teacher’s spouse or partner who is not a teacher is transferred intrastate, leave without pay may be granted for up to three years.

b) Initially, an application for compassionate transfer, accompanied by documentary evidence regarding the spouse or partner’s transfer, should be submitted to the Recruitment and Employment Directorate

c) If no suitable vacancy is available, the teacher should then submit an initial application for leave without pay pending a vacancy.

d) A teacher in this situation may find it advisable to apply for six months leave without pay in the first instance. If no vacancy occurs during that time further applications for extensions of leave should be submitted until such time as the teacher is appointed.

e) Casual or temporary teaching may be undertaken while on leave without pay. The conditions of employment which apply in these circumstances are set out in Section 4.11.4.

4.11.14 Marriage leave

a) Where, because of special circumstances, it is not possible to arrange to be married during school holidays, leave without pay may be granted. Generally leave will be restricted to ten working days.

b) The leave application, accompanied by all relevant information, should be submitted six weeks in advance.

4.11.15 Parliamentary elections

4.11.15.1 State elections

a) The conditions under which teachers may contest State Elections are prescribed by Section 71 of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013.

b) It is not necessary for a teacher to resign prior to the election but, if elected as a member of either house, the teacher must resign from the Teaching Service upon the declaration of the poll. The last day of service will be the date on which the teacher is declared elected.

c) In order to avoid potential conflict between political interests and the teacher’s employment, it would be preferable for the teacher to take leave in order to contest an election. Teachers may be granted leave without pay or extended leave, if due.

d) For more details see PSCC2013 – 03 Contesting Elections.

4.11.15.2 Federal elections

a) The conditions under which teachers may contest Federal Elections are prescribed by the Section 44 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act and Section 72 of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013.

b) Teachers must resign before nominating for election to either house. The last day of service of a teacher contesting a Federal election must be no later than the day prior to the closing date for nominations.

c) If a teacher fails to be elected the resignation may be withdrawn and the teacher reappointed to their previous position provided:

  • the resignation took effect within three months of the date of the election;
  • the resignation stated an intention to contest the election; and
  • the teacher makes written application for reappointment within two months after the declaration of the poll.

d) If the resignation is withdrawn the period between the dates of resignation and reappointment will subsequently be granted as leave without pay or the teacher may elect to be paid extended leave, if due, for the whole or part of the above period.

e) For more details see C2018-04-PSCC2018-06 – Contesting Elections.

4.11.16 Private business

a) Leave of absence will not be granted for private business except in very urgent cases. If leave is granted it is without pay.

b) Applications for leave should be forwarded as early as possible and the nature of the business must be stated in support of the application.

4.11.17 Sporting fixtures

a) Various categories of leave, including leave without pay may be granted to teachers to participate in sporting fixtures.

b) See Section 4.10, Leave for Sporting Fixtures for details.

4.11.18 Sporting, cultural or educational association meetings

Where a teacher holds office in a recognised sporting, cultural or educational association either at the State or National level, and is required by that association to attend regular meetings during normal school hours, then leave without pay or extended leave to credit may be granted provided that:

  • the State or National body on which the teacher holds office is the controlling body and is not an affiliated group;

  • applications for leave are accompanied by documentary evidence verifying the necessity for holding the meeting during school hours.

4.11.19 Subpoenaed or called as witnesses

a) Teachers subpoenaed or called as witnesses, other than by the Crown, shall be granted leave without pay or extended leave to credit for the period they are necessarily absent from duty.

b) Any monies paid to a teacher as a witness may be retained.

c) Teachers subpoenaed or called as a witness in their official capacity are deemed to be on duty.

d) Teachers subpoenaed or called as a witness by the Crown shall be granted special leave. See Section 4.14.23, Special Leave for details.

4.11.20 NSW Teachers Federation

4.11.20.1 Appointment to administrative positions

The following conditions apply to teachers elected to full time administrative positions with the NSW Teachers Federation:

a) Leave Without Pay

i) A teacher may be granted a maximum of six years leave without pay to accept an administrative position with the Federation.

The six years limit refers to a single period of service and is not cumulative. This would be extended, in the instance of an officer being elected at a by-election after the beginning of a triennial term of office, for the balance of that triennial period.

ii) Approval of applications for leave without pay to accept an administrative position with the Federation will be determined centrally through Industrial Relations Directorate following consultation with principals.

iii) Teachers granted leave without pay to accept an administrative position with the Teachers Federation will lose right of return to their substantive position. If they choose to return to teaching they will be matched to a position through a central appointment.

iv) Leave without pay granted to accept an administrative position will be regarded as distinct and separate from other types of leave without pay such as leave without pay for personal reasons or leave to relieve as a Federation officer.

v) Leave without pay granted for this purpose will count for incremental progression on resumption of duty in the teaching service.

vi) A teacher who accepts an administrative position with the Federation for more than six consecutive years must resign from the Teaching Service. This would be extended, in the instance of an officer being elected at a by-election after the beginning of a triennial term of office, for the balance of that triennial period.

vii) Leave without pay for personal reasons to continue as an officer in the Federation will not be approved.

b) Superannuation Contributions

As the Federation is an employer in accordance with Schedule 111 of the State Superannuation Act 1916, the Federation will be responsible for payment of at least the employer’s current liability for superannuation contributions throughout the total period of the teacher’s leave without pay.

c) Application for re-appointment by teachers defeated at election

i) Teachers granted leave without pay who seek election but are defeated or who do not seek re-election must apply to return to schools and must make application for reappointment as soon as possible. For this purpose the six year limit will be flexible to allow sufficient time for notification of election results and the timing of the teacher’s return to duty.

ii) A teacher in the above situation who does not wish to immediately return to the Teaching Service may seek leave without pay for personal reasons (if they have sufficient leave to credit) providing this meets departmental convenience. Applications for leave should be submitted to the Employee Service Centre.

iii) In line with current policy concerning teachers who are granted leave without pay for personal reasons, teachers on leave without pay elected to administrative positions with the Teachers Federation who are seeking re-appointment with the Department will be guaranteed an appointment at the expiration of the leave without pay subject to the availability of a suitable position.

d) Extended leave

i) Where a teacher is granted leave without pay to accept an administrative position with the Federation, the leave will not initially count for extended leave purposes.

ii) In the case of teachers who return to the Teaching Service at the expiration of this leave, the Federation will be responsible for meeting the full (or pro rata cost for teachers with less than ten years) cost of the extended leave accrued during the period of leave without pay. The cost will be calculated at the salary rate applicable at the time of the teacher’s return to the Teaching Service. The period of leave without pay will then be counted as service for extended leave purposes.

This provision will not apply for any period of leave without pay for personal reasons approved as per c) ii) above.

iii) In the case of teachers who resign or retire during or at the expiration of the period of leave without pay with the Federation, no recoup will be carried out and the Federation will be responsible for making payment direct to the officer for the extended leave accrued during the period of leave without pay.

iv) A teacher who retires or resigns during or at the expiration of the period of leave without pay with the Federation will be paid any extended leave for service with the Department at the salary rate which would have been paid by the Department had the officer remained a teacher.

v) A teacher’s incremental salary on retirement or resignation will be adjusted if the period of leave without pay with the Federation would in itself have led to incremental salary progression. The teacher will need to resume duty to be eligible for the salary increment, and extended leave entitlements will be paid in accordance with the increased salary.

vi) In the case of teachers who resign with more than five but less than ten years’ service with the Department, the teacher will receive payment for pro rata extended leave calculated in accordance with Section 4.7.2.

e) Deferred superannuation liability following retirement or medical retirement while on leave without pay

For contributors to the State Superannuation Scheme, the deferred superannuation will be accepted by the Department except where:

  • the salary paid by the Federation is greater than the salary which would have been paid by the Department had the officer remained a teacher, the Federation will meet that part of the deferred liability which is referable to the difference; and/or

  • a teacher has worked for twelve years or more (two separate six year terms) and any relevant by-election term with the Federation, the deferred liability will be apportioned between the Department and the Federation according to the time spent working with each.

f) Federation officers who previously resigned from the Teaching Service

i) Previous teachers of the Department who have resigned from the Teaching Service to accept an administrative position with the Federation will be guaranteed an offer of employment with the Department following the Federation elections in which the officer failed to be re-elected to office or did not stand for re-election subject to the availability of a suitable non executive position.

ii) In the case of teachers who previously resigned from the Teaching Service and are employed by the Federation, the Department will not accept any liability for payment of deferred superannuation contributions following the retirement of Federation officers.

4.11.20.2 Appointment to relief positions with the NSW Teachers Federation

The following conditions apply to teachers appointed to relief positions with the NSW Teachers Federation.

a) Teachers released to work in relief positions may be granted leave without pay and must submit an application. Such leave will be regarded as separate from leave without pay granted to teachers to take up full time administrative positions.

b) In respect of contributors to a state government superannuation fund, the current liability superannuation contributions will be paid by the Teachers Federation.

c) The period of leave will count for incremental purposes.

d) Payment of salary and conditions of employment, including leave entitlements will be the responsibility of the Teachers Federation.

e) A period of leave without pay of less than six months will count as service for extended leave purposes when a teacher has completed at least ten years paid service.

f) Teachers will have right of return to their former position following the expiration of the leave granted, at the beginning of the ensuing term within that school year or at the beginning of the next school year as appropriate.

g) Teachers will not have right of return to their former position if a period of leave or an extension of leave extends beyond the beginning of the following school year.

4.11.21 Australian Education Union

a) The conditions regarding appointment to an administrative position with the Australian Education Union are the same as for the NSW Teachers Federation except for the provisions in respect of superannuation and extended leave.

b) The Australian Education Union is not an “Employer” for the purposes of the State Superannuation Act. Consequently teachers appointed to an administrative position with the Australian Education Union must make their own arrangements for payment of personal and employer’s current liability superannuation contributions to the appropriate fund.

c) The period of absence does not count for extended leave purposes.

4.11.22 Transport stoppages

a) During a major interruption to public transport it is expected that, as far as practicable, teachers will report for duty at their usual school.

b) Where it is impracticable for teachers to report to their normal schools they may report for duty to schools more convenient to their home. In this instance teachers are deemed to be on duty but must supply their principals with a certification from the other school which includes the specific dates upon which they reported for duty.

c) If a teacher is unable to attend their own or another school they must be granted leave without pay or extended leave to credit.

4.11.23 Weddings and wedding anniversaries

a) A teacher may be granted leave without pay for the wedding of a son, daughter, brother, sister or marriage of a parent.

b) Leave for weddings of relatives other than a teacher’s son, daughter, brother, sister or parent will be granted, without pay, only in exceptional circumstances.

c) Where family and community service leave has been exhausted, leave without pay for one day may be granted to attend silver, golden, or diamond wedding anniversaries of parents.

d) Leave without pay beyond one day may be granted where travel to the place of the wedding or anniversary necessitates additional absence.

4.11.24 Part time leave without pay

4.11.24.1 Eligibility

All permanent teachers who have completed the equivalent of two years full time service are eligible to apply for part time leave without pay.

4.11.24.2 Duration of leave and right of return

a) Part time leave without pay is available for periods of up to two years after which a teacher must either:

i) resume duty in a full time position; or

ii) seek a change in status to permanent part time work; or

iii) apply for further extensions of part time leave without pay beyond the initial two year period, subject to Departmental approval.

b) Teachers on part time leave without pay will have right of return to their former position for the duration of the period of leave.

4.11.24.3 Application and variation

a) Application for part time leave without pay should be made no later than four weeks prior to the commencement of the leave. However, where leave is sought to commence immediately after a school vacation, the application for leave should be submitted no later than four weeks prior to the last day of the relevant school term. Leave must be taken in fractions of a day ie quarter, half, three quarters of a day or a full day and leave days indicated on the application.

b) A minimum of 0.4 equivalent full time must be worked on a set and regular basis each week.

c) A teacher may apply for variation in leave and/or work arrangements at the end of the school year, subject to Departmental approval.

d) Teachers may apply to resume full time employment in their previous positions by giving one month’s notice in writing. Consideration of requests of this nature will take into account whether a replacement teacher has been engaged.

4.11.24.4 Other conditions

a) Salary, leave and allowances including locality and climatic allowances will be calculated on a similar basis as for permanent part time work.

b) Subject to the normal provisions, teachers on part time leave without pay are entitled to paid maternity, altruistic surrogacy, parental or adoption leave as follows:

i) Where the period of part time leave without pay preceding maternity,altruistic surrogacy, parental or adoption leave is 40 calendar weeks or less, this paid leave shall be granted at the teacher’s full time rate of pay;

ii) Where the period of part time leave without pay preceding maternity, altruistic surrogacy, parentalor adoption leave exceeds 40 weeks, this paid leave shall be granted at the teacher’s part time rate of pay.

c) Eligibility for transfer and benefit under the Transferred Officers’ Compensation Determination will be the same as for full time teachers.

d) Any teacher who applies for part time leave without pay and whose application is rejected at the school level has right of appeal to the director educational leadership.

4.11.24.5 Vacation entitlement

A teacher on part time leave without pay is entitled to pro rata vacation payment on the same basis as a permanent part time teacher.

4.11.24.6 Casual or temporary teaching

Teachers on part time leave without pay may undertake casual or temporary teaching. See Section 4.11.4 and 4.11.5 for details.

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