Leave Without Pay (LWOP) Guideline

Document Number000975
Date Approved25 June 2004
Date Last Amended21 February 2012

1.      Overview

1.1.    The University and a staff member may agree to the taking of leave without pay and to the terms and conditions upon which such leave is granted. A statement of the circumstances supporting the application must accompany applications for such leave. The following guidelines apply for periods of more than four weeks. Lesser periods will be considered by the immediate supervisor.

1.2.    Leave Without Pay (LWOP) in excess of four weeks will be considered for both academic and professional staff members of the University, other than casual staff members. Generally, the University will consider applications for the purposes of career development, exchanges, skill enhancement, study or compassionate grounds. In considering applications to undertake external employment, regard will be had to the potential benefit to the University.

Consideration of such applications will be based on the following principles:

  1. the applicant must have served a minimum of two years with the University. (Depending on the circumstances for the LWOP application other types of leave may be available for those applicants not falling into this category.)
  2. Special Studies Program (SSP) post-service commitments have been met (for academic staff members only),
  3. the immediate supervisor recommends the application,
  4. applications must supply substantial reasons for the leave,
  5. the maximum amount of time granted for LWOP is two years,
  6. approval will depend on balancing operational requirements with the applicant’s needs.

2.      Submission of the Application for Leave Without Pay

2.1.    Statements attached to an application for LWOP should be made in writing and submitted with the leave application to a staff member's immediate supervisor for recommendation.

2.2.    A staff member should attempt to provide as much notice as possible when making an application for LWOP.

2.3.    The immediate supervisor’s recommendation and the application are submitted in accordance with Faculty/Divisional administrative arrangements and delegations as follows:

  1. LWOP up to three months: (Delegation HR 57)
    Band 1 to 5
  2. LWOP more than three months and up to a year: (Delegation HR 58)
    Band 1 to 4
  3. LWOP in excess of one year and up to two years: (Delegation HR 59)
    Band 1 to 2

2.4.    Following receipt of the application for processing in Human Resource Services, the applicant and immediate supervisor will be notified accordingly.

3.      Conditions of Leave Without Pay

3.1.    The conditions for leave without pay are as follows:

  1. accrued annual leave must be utilised prior to commencing leave without pay;
  2. generally, staff members on LWOP may be required to meet their superannuation liability. As the requirements of each superannuation scheme differ all staff members who contribute to a superannuation scheme are required to contact the Superannuation Officer prior to applying for LWOP to ascertain their liability;
  3. public holidays that fall within the LWOP period are treated as LWOP;
  4. LWOP in excess of five (5) working days within one (1) year will not count for incremental progression or leave accrual purposes;
  5. where possible the proposed period of LWOP is to embrace complete semesters/trimesters for academic staff members;
  6. during the period of LWOP, staff members are not covered by the provisions of workers’ compensation through the University of Newcastle.

4.      Resumption of Employment

4.1.    Staff members are required to confirm their intention to resume employment, in writing, one month before the expiration of the approved LWOP period.

4.2.    After a period of leave without pay, staff members will normally return at the substantive level which they held before taking the leave.

4.3.    Early resumption of employment from a period of LWOP may be considered subject to availability of comparable positions.

5.      Further Information

5.1.    Enquiries regarding these guidelines should be directed to your Human Resource Officer in Human Resource Services. Contact details are available at this link:



Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Date Approved25 June 2004
Date Last Amended21 February 2012
Date for Review31 May 2014
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Services)
Policy OwnerDirector, Human Resource Services
Policy ContactManager, Human Resource Services
Amendment History

Existing Guideline 000606 replaced with this document because of minor title change and content change to reflect change in terminology from general to professional staff, approved by Vice-Chancellor 21 February 2012, effective 1 January 2012.

Minor amendments to update hyperlinks and terminology approved Director, Human Resource Services 9 June 2011.

Amended August 8 2008 to align with Council approved delegations.