Sick and FACS leave model (staff only)

The Sick and FACS Leave Model (SFLM) budget allocations are provided to schools through the School Budget Allocation Report (SBAR).

The SFLM budget allocations are based on the individual school’s rolling three year average of sick and FACS leave taken. The school’s average position is moderated according to a statewide benchmark of sick days for schools.

Corporate Finance will monitor the number of sick and FACS leave days taken across all schools. Schools impacted by higher than expected instances of approved sick and FACS leave will receive a budget adjustment.

Schools are expected to use the SFLM budget for relieving staff for sick and FACS leave taken. The funds can be used to employ casual staff to cover staff absences.

The following leave types continue to be non-chargeable (100% no cost to the school):

  • Long service leave (from day 1 of leave)
  • Parental leave - maternity, paternity, and adoption
  • Special leave - jury, subpoenaed, called as witness and state emergencies
  • Military leave

Note: Accident leave is treated separately by the Health and Safety directorate.

It is critical that schools ensure that all leave applications are submitted and approved in a timely manner.

The Sick and FACs Leave Model (SFLM) allocation was adjusted in response to COVID-19 staffing arrangements. All schools, with the exception of TP1, TP2 and SSPs have had a reduction of 25% of their allocation of SFLM to support the casual employment program, an employee centred program designed to provide continuity of work for the Department's casual workforce who have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a one off adjustment for the 2020 budget with SFLM funding expected to continue as per the standard calculation methodology from 2021 onwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I now have staff on long term sick leave?

As a month end process, Finance will run the Threshold Test to examine schools for employees who have taken extended long term sick leave (including FACS).

What is the threshold test?

The threshold test will capture any staff who have taken more than 20 days of paid Sick and FACS leave during the calendar year. The first fifteen days cost is covered by the school, and the remainder will be given as a budget adjustment paid at the standard cost of the staff member’s position. If the threshold test is not met, no budget adjustment will be processed.

(Note: Additional review for exceptions are possible after the threshold test is applied).

I am a remote school with very few staff and a small budget.

The Threshold Test will apply. For example, a staff member takes twenty plus days off on paid Sick and FACS leave. The first fifteen days cost is covered by the school, and the remainder will be given as a budget adjustment paid at the standard cost of the staff member’s position.

(Note: Additional review for exceptions are possible after the threshold test is applied).

I have not had staff on long term sick leave before, it will not be in 3 year average.

The threshold test will capture any staff who have taken more than 20 days of paid Sick and FACS leave during the calendar year.

(Note: Additional review for exceptions are possible after the threshold test is applied).

What happens with sick leave no pay?

Sick leave no pay is excluded from the model.

Can I use this budget allocation for other expenses?

Schools are expected to use this budget only for relieving staff on Sick and FACS leave.

What about broken absences?

Broken absence will not be an issue as the SFLM model is based on the total number of paid Sick and FACS leave days processed within the calendar year and not on whether they were consecutively taken.

What happens if the staff member’s sick leave is converted to accident leave and the claim is accepted by the insurer?

When Health and Safety (H&S) makes a determination that the sick leave has been approved as accident leave, the conversion from sick leave to accident leave would be reflected in the SFLM budget adjustment process. If this occurs within the same calendar year, there should be no impact to schools. If the leave occurs over more than one calendar year, then the budget adjustment will be processed in the calendar year that accident leave has been approved and posted.

Note that Accident leave is managed by H&S, and is outside of the scope of SFLM.

Why have I received a negative SFLM budget adjustment this month?

The source of the budget adjustment calculation is from the SAP Employee Level Salary Cost Report. If a previously approved Sick and FACS leave is reversed in the system (e.g. due to approved accident leave or staff member changing leave type), this may result in a negative budget adjustment for the month (with the overall SFLM budget adjustment for the calendar year still a positive or neutral budget adjustment).

Can I still hire casual staff to cover staff taking leave, including sick leave?

The SFLM budget can be used to hire casual staff to cover staff absences, planned or unplanned and including sick leave. The SFLM budget is based on Sick and FACS leave taken, not on the cost of relief.

Do I need to account for how I spend this budget?

Schools are not required by the department to account for the use of the SFLM budget. Corporate Finance will be monitoring the leave taken for Sick and FACS leave by school staff on a monthly basis.

What rate will be used to provide the budget adjustment?

The standard cost rate will be used for the staff member for whom the budget adjustment is made, e.g. classroom teacher, head teacher, deputy principal, principal, SAM, SAO, SLSO, etc. This takes into consideration that schools are more than likely to hire temporary staff for long term sick leave. This ensures that schools have an appropriate level of funding to cover costs.

I have received a SFLM budget adjustment. How do I know which staff and what kind of staff this is for?

Schools receiving SFLM budget adjustments will receive an email including a Fact Sheet, which provides the breakdown and calculation of this budget adjustment.

Is there any changes with other leave types?

There are no changes to other leave types other than Sick and FACS leave.

I have above establishment staff at my school. Who pays for their leave?

These staff will be captured as part of the threshold test.

I have created an Above Centrally Identified Position (ACIP). Who pays for the leave?

As per the Determining the mix of staff in NSW Public Schools Procedures document, all leave-related expenses are school funded.

I have had a significant increase in staffing FTE from prior years. Does the SFLM accommodate this?

Yes, the SFLM takes into account your latest Approved SBAR staffing FTE to calculate your SFLM Baseline Budget.

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