We have a range of leave options depending on your needs and employment type. Most leave can be applied for on HRonline.

Most full time staff are entitled to four weeks annual leave each year including 17.5 per cent leave loading paid in December. Annual leave helps you to relax and rejuvenate and gives you a good work life balance.

It is best to use all annual leave days accrued each year. If you do carry days over to the following year, you should make sure your balance does not exceed 20 days at any time. If you are planning an extended absence such as a long holiday you can negotiate with your manager to build up your days. If you are doing this, the leave must be taken within two years.

The leave plan (PDF, 412KB) can help you map out when you are going to take your annual leave.  Please note, it is not possible to access leave not yet accrued.

Apply or check your annual leave balance using HRonline. If you don't have access to HRonline, please complete the annual leave for (Professional) (PDF, 364KB).

If you are an academic staff member see annual leave for academic staff for more specific information.

Otherwise see the leave and holidays section of your relevant enterprise agreement.

Annual leave accrued in a calendar year is required to be taken within the period of the twenty (20) working days following the commencement of the University's annual closedown.

Staff may access their annual leave entitlement during the year with prior approval of the Head of School.

To apply for annual leave please use HRonline. If you do not have access to HRonline, please complete Academic annual leave form (PDF, 554KB).

Staff may request to cash out an amount of paid annual leave on reasonable grounds.  Other than in exceptional circumstances, the maximum amount of annual leave that may be cashed out during the life of the enterprise agreement is two (2) weeks.  For further advice or requests, please contact your HR Client Services Advisor.

The Academic staff and Teachers Enterprise Agreement is provided below to allow staff to review the leave section:

To assist staff with planning annual leave in consultation with the Head of School, a leave plan template is provided below:

Deferred academic leave

An application can be made to defer leave for any unused annual leave accrued during the year. It is expected that all leave that is deferred will be used in the following year.

To defer leave, an application form will need to approved by your Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor no later than the 31st January the following year:

For further advice on Academic deferred leave, please contact your HR Client Services Advisor.

The purchased leave scheme is available for all staff engaged under the University’s Enterprise Agreements.

Under this scheme you can apply to 'purchase' a minimum of one week in one block and up to eight weeks of additional paid leave a year. By purchasing this leave you forgo a small part of your salary over a year period. The amount of this depends on how many weeks purchased leave you apply for.

Further information for Academic and Teaching staff please is available under the Flexibility clause of the relevant Enterprise Agreement.

Further information for Professional staff is available under the purchased leave clause of the Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement.

To apply, complete the purchased leave form (PDF, 436KB).

For more information see Information for Staff  and Supervisors - Purchased Leave (PDF, 202KB).

University concession days

  • A minimum of three working days in the period between 27 December and 31 December each year are deemed University concession days. This information is available here.
  • Each year the Tuesday immediately following Easter Monday is a University concession day.

Note: Some staff may be required to work on these concession days.

Standard public holidays

Staff members who are not required for duty will be allowed to observe the following days (or substitute holiday declared for the State of NSW) as holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Australia Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Saturday
  • Easter Monday
  • Anzac Day
  • Queen's Birthday
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • and all other declared Public Holidays for the State.

Personal leave is available for staff, other than casuals, in the event of:

  • illness, injury, incapacity or disability
  • caring for a family member or member of the household suffering from an illness, injury or incapacity
  • compassionate needs
  • bereavement
  • unforseen emergency
  • moving residence
  • attending important cultural events
  • domestic and family violence situations
  • participating in volunteer activities

Full-time continuing, fixed-term or contingent staff members may access up to a maximum of 25 days personal leave in any 12 month period. Part-time staff members will receive pro rata of the full-time staff member’s personal leave entitlements.

To apply for personal leave please use HRonline (with the exception of personal leave for participating in volunteer activities). If applying for more than three consecutive days of personal leave you will need a Doctor's Certificate or Statutory Declaration (PDF, 7.6KB). Please scan and upload all evidence in HRonline when you are applying for the leave.

If you are applying for personal leave to participate in volunteer activities or you do not have access to HRonline, please complete the personal leave application form (PDF, 991KB).

Participating in volunteer activities

As part of the personal leave provision you may apply for up to 2 days per year to participate in volunteer activities in a community-based non-profit organisation, charitable group, or other group identified in need of services and assistance.

The volunteering activities you wish to participate in may be of your choice provided that the volunteering activity:

  • is for the common good;
  • is without financial gain;
  • is in a designated volunteer position;
  • does not conflict with your employment obligations or our policies and values;
  • is covered by insurance and
  • is not considered high-risk.

Your supervisor will also need to consider the impact of your absence on the work area when approving volunteer leave.

Apply to participate in volunteer activities by completing the personal leave application form (PDF, 991KB). You should also provide any available evidence of the nature of your volunteer activities.

Leave without pay (LWOP) is an unpaid leave of absence that is granted for a variety of reasons. LWOP can only be used when all other types of leave have been exhausted. To apply please complete the leave without pay application form (PDF, 488KB).

For more information see Information for Staff and Supervisors - Leave without pay (PDF, 235KB).

You are entitled to three months leave (two months for casuals) after 10 years of continuous service. This entitlement then increases for every year after that. To apply for long service leave or to check your balance see HRonline. If you do not have access please complete the long service leave application form (PDF, 428KB).

To ensure you are using your long service leave accrual you should try to keep your accrued balance to no more than three months at any one time.

For more information see your relevant Enterprise Agreement.

Parents are able to take advantage of up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave (or 52 weeks on half pay) after the birth (or placement through adoption or fostering) of your child. This is separate from and may be taken at the same time as the Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme. The staff member taking the leave can be male or female but must be the primary carer of the child. If you are not the birth mother but intend to become the primary carer and take paid parental leave, please contact the HR Leave Specialist to get more information on your entitlements.

Full details are outlined in the Parental Leave Booklet (PDF, 1.49MB). To apply please complete the parental leave application form (PDF, 488KB).

To vary or request an extension to parental leave please complete the variation form (PDF, 441KB).


Partners are entitled to three weeks paid leave after the birth (or placement through adoption or fostering) of your child. This is separate from the Australian Government Dad and Partner pay. You cannot receive the Government entitlement at the same time as you are taking paid leave from the University.

To apply please complete the partner leave application form (PDF, 488KB).


Parental Leave Booklet

If you are a recognised member of an emergency services body you can get up to two days of paid leave to perform duties during an emergency. If the emergency is officially declared a natural disaster this can be extended by another two days.To apply for this leave please use HRonline.

If you do not have access please complete the emergency services leave form (PDF, 531KB).

The University supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff by providing access to a pool of 10 days paid Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leave annually (in addition to the personal leave provisions) and 10 days unpaid Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leave, for the purposes of:

  • bereavement leave
  • participation in National Aboriginal and Islander Day celebrations
  • participation in and fulfilment of ceremonial obligations, attendance at community organisation business or other relevant cultural events

To apply for this leave please complete the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leave application form (PDF, 974KB).

A staff member will continue to be paid their normal salary on condition they reimburse the University the amount received as attendance fees. Please complete the jury service leave application form (PDF, 438KB). You will need to provide proof of your attendance including the duration of the service and the amount you were paid.

The University may grant study leave and/or examination leave and/or reimbursement of study fees for study leading to a formal qualification relevant and appropriate to the staff member's current or likely future duties and responsibilities at the University, and of benefit to the University.

For more information, please refer to the Study and Reimbursement of Fees Procedure or contact your HR Client Services Advisor.

You can apply for Study and/or Examination Leave through HRonline.

If you do not have access to HRonline, please complete the Study/Examination leave application (PDF, 910KB).

Staff who are members of the Australian Defence Force Reserves are able to access 14 days leave on full pay. If you are in your first year of the Defence Reserve Service you get an additional 14 days on top of this to attend training and inductions. To apply for this leave please use the defence reserves' leave form (PDF, 523KB). You cannot apply through HRonline.

For more information see Defence Reserves Leave - information for Staff and Supervisors

If you are acting as a witness on behalf of the University, you will be considered to be on duty and will not receive witness fees or a day of paid leave.

If you are subpoenaed, summoned or called as a witness you will notify the University of your required absence and apply for and be granted leave (other than personal leave) for the period of the absence.

To apply for leave please use HRonline.

Academic staff are eligible to apply for the Special Studies Program.

Reversing future leave bookings

You can reverse an approved leave request by logging on to HRONline.

Reversing annual or Long Service Leave for Personal Leave

If you are on annual leave or long service leave, and you become sick, it is not possible to reverse the leave and re-book the period of leave as personal leave unless:

  • the period of annual/long service leave you wish to reverse, and the personal leave you wish to replace it with are both for a minimum period of one continuous working week
  • the personal leave is related to the employee themselves; sickness, which is, illness, injury or incapacity. Annual or long service leave cannot be reversed for any other type of category under personal leave, and
  • a satisfactory medical certificate is provided to support the personal leave application.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.