Managing Employee Absences Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy sets out employee and manager obligations concerning absence from the workplace and mandatory procedures for managing employee absences.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. Employees must submit an application for leave before all instances of planned leave, and within 10 working days after commencing an unplanned absence, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as hospitalisation. Employees must also submit relevant documentary evidence, such as a medical certificate or statutory declarations, where required.
    2. Employees submit applications for personal leave (all employees) and annual leave (staff other than teachers) electronically using HR21. Applications for all other types of leave are submitted using hard copy forms available on the Shared Services Customer Service Portal.
    3. Managers should ensure all staff are aware of their obligation to submit applications for leave. Managers are responsible for forwarding approved applications for leave (HR21 or hard copy) to Shared Services Payroll. It is not appropriate to give the approved hard copy forms back to the employee for submission. Relevant documentary evidence, such as medical certificates and statutory declarations, must be sighted before leave is approved and stored at the worksite for a period of seven years.
    4. Periods of leave not covered by an approved application for leave will be treated as unauthorised absence and may result in salary and/or disciplinary action.
    5. Managers are responsible for managing employee absences in accordance with the related Managing Employee Absences - Mandatory Procedures and relevant leave guidelines. They are also responsible for approving leave (HR21), submitting hard copy approved leave forms to Shared Services Payroll and for sighting and storing related documentary evidence such as medical certificates and statutory declarations for a period of seven years.
    6. The Mandatory Procedures must be applied consistently and in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness and in a manner that promotes the values and general principles of the ACT Public Service.
    7. When implementing the Mandatory Procedures, managers should ensure they are familiar with the relevant leave guidelines and delegations.
    8. Under the Mandatory Procedures, the manager must:
      • establish why the employee is absent and what form of leave applies
      • record the absence
      • provide a written direction to the employee if they have not submitted an application for leave within 10 working days after commencing the absence
      • advise Shared Services Payroll to take salary action where an employee fails to submit an application for leave within a further 10 working days of the reminder
      • seek advice from Employee Relations where an employee repeatedly fails to fulfil their obligations under this policy.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to school principals, central office managers and all Directorate employees.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to provide managers with a framework for managing employee absences in accordance with the Directorate’s enterprise agreements and relevant legislation.
    3. The Managing Employee Absences - Mandatory Procedures related to this policy apply to all permanent and temporary employees who accrue leave entitlements under an award, enterprise agreement or the Public Sector Management Act 1994. The Mandatory Procedures do not apply to casual employees.
    4. The Public Sector Management Act 1994 (Section 9) provides the legislative framework for any disciplinary action that may be taken when an employee fails to fulfil their duty as an officer.
    5. The Public Sector Management Standards 2006 (section 259) provides the basis for any action, including salary action, that may be taken in response to an employee’s unauthorised absence.
    6. The ACTPS Enterprise Agreements 2013-2017 and the ACTPS Education and Training Directorate (Teaching Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2014-2018 and their replacements:
      • require employees to submit applications for leave when absent from duty
      • contain provisions for salary and disciplinary action that may be taken in response to an employee’s unauthorised absence.
  4. Responsibilities
    1. Employees: are responsible for notifying their manager for the reason for their absence and submitting an application for leave for all absences.
    2. Managers: are responsible for implementing the Managing Employee Absences - Mandatory Procedures related to this policy.
    3. Policy Owner: The Director People and Performance is responsible for this policy.
  5. Monitoring and Review
    1. Director People and Performance monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  6. Contact
    1. For support contact Employee Relations on (02) 6205 9149 or email employee.relations@act.gov.au.
  7. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this policy or the policy itself, should be raised with:
  8. References
    1. Definitions
      • Employee: includes permanent and temporary employees of the ACT Public Service Education Directorate. For the purposes of this policy, it does not include casual employees.
      • Employee Assistance Program: provides independent, confidential and professional counselling services for employees with work related or personal problems. The services are provided free to employees. Three providers are available: Converge International (ph. 1300 687 327), Davidson Trahaire Corpsych (ph. 1300 360 364) and Optum (ph. 1300 361 008).
      • Employee Relations: means the section in People and Performance Branch in Education Directorate.
      • HR21: is the ACT Government employee system for submitting electronic applications for personal leave (all permanent staff) and annual leave (staff other than teachers).
      • Manager: includes school principals and managers in central office.
      • Manager Assist: is a free telephone consultancy service providing practical assistance and advice to managers and supervisors on people management issues. It is part of the Employee Assistance Program and three providers are available: Converge International (ph. 1300 687 327), Davidson Trahaire Corpsych (ph. 1300 360 364) and Optum (ph. 1300 361 008).
      • Managing Employee Absences - Mandatory Procedures: refers to the procedures related to this policy.
    2. Legislation
    3. Implementation Documents
    4. Related Policies and Information

Managing Employee Absences Policy: MEA201602 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z/.