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Leave - Education Leave Policy

This is not a current document. It has been repealed and is no longer in force.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to detail the principles related to entitlements for study time, examination leave, graduation ceremony leave and English language training.

(2) This Policy provides information for all continuing and fixed-term staff members to establish the eligibility, entitlement and approval for education leave for professional learning and development opportunities.


(3) This Policy applies to all eligible staff employed under the relevant Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements.

(4) It will be of particular relevance to all continuing and fixed-term professional staff members.

(5) Casual staff members are not entitled to paid education leave.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) The University encourages all staff members to pursue personal and professional learning and development opportunities to enhance their career goals.

Eligibility, Entitlement and Approval

(7) Education leave includes the following:

  1. study time and examination leave (professional staff only); 
  2. graduation ceremony leave; and 
  3. English language training.

(8) The eligibility and entitlement to education leave is prescribed by the relevant Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements.

(9) Eligibility to paid education leave will apply on the following basis:

  1. study time and examination leave - to all continuing and fixed-term professional staff members who undertake an approved course of study;
  2. graduation ceremony leave - to all continuing and fixed-term staff members; and
  3. English language training - to all continuing and fixed-term staff members from a non-English speaking background.

(10) Part-time staff members will be entitled to paid leave on a pro-rata basis.

(11) Casual staff members are not entitled to paid leave.

(12) Education leave entitlements are not cumulative from year to year.

Study Time

(13) Eligibility for study time will be based on the relevance of the course of study to the staff member’s current or potential employment with Macquarie University.

(14) Professional staff members may apply for study time on the following basis:

  1. one (1) half-hour of paid leave for every hour of compulsory attendance up to a maximum of four (4) hours per week, or up to fifteen (15) days of paid leave per annum for attendance at residential schools when undertaking an approved distance education course; and
  2. an additional ten (10) days of paid leave where a course involves a thesis in addition to coursework, or ten (10) days of leave for qualifying studies entirely by thesis only.

(15) For masters degree studies by research and thesis only, the total grant of paid leave is:

  1. twenty-five (25) days for courses of two (2) years minimum duration; or
  2. thirty-five (35) days for courses of three (3) years minimum duration.

(16) For doctoral studies, the total grant of paid leave is forty-five (45) days. 

(17) Where an emergency work situation arises, the staff member may be required by their supervisor to forgo the study time that is normally granted. If circumstances permit, the supervisor will negotiate an alternative period of study time with the staff member. 

(18) Study time will not generally be granted to repeat a subject if study time has previously been granted, except in exceptional circumstances, such as situations where the staff member has been forced to repeat the subject due to illness, compassionate grounds or work pressures.

(19) Study time will only be used during teaching periods in the relevant course. The staff member will meet all the costs associated with their course of study.

Examination Leave

(20) Professional staff members undertaking an approved course of study will be allowed up to ten (10) days paid examination leave in any one (1) academic year. Leave will be granted on the basis of two (2) days leave for each subject in which the staff member has a formal examination.

Graduation Ceremony Leave

(21) Staff members undertaking an approved course of study, who wish to attend a graduation ceremony in order to receive their award, will be entitled to:

  1. one (1) half-day of paid leave for a graduation held within the Sydney metropolitan area; or
  2. one (1) day of paid leave for a graduation held outside the Sydney metropolitan area.

(22) Leave will only be granted in circumstances where the staff member is graduating at a ceremony held during normal working hours.

English Language Training

(23) Staff members who attend an approved English language training course will be granted paid leave. Subject to appropriate needs assessment, participation in training will be on the basis of a minimum of one hundred (100) hours per annum. Training will be aimed at staff members who:

  1. are unable to meet standards of communication to advance their career prospects; or
  2. constitute a health and safety risk to themselves and / or other persons. 

(24) The training will be conducted within the University or by another accredited body and will be aimed at enabling the staff member to achieve an acceptable level of vocational English proficiency. The proficiency level will take into account the vocational needs of the staff member with respect to:

  1. communication;
  2. health, safety and welfare;
  3. productivity within their current or potential employment at Macquarie University;
  4. training, retraining and multi-skilling; and
  5. the understanding of all policies and legislation relating to their employment.

Additional Leave for Educational Purposes

(25) Staff members may apply to access alternative leave or employment arrangements in accordance with the relevant Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements and University policies.


(26) Staff members who meet the eligibility requirements for education leave must obtain approval. The approval process is outlined in the Leave - Education Leave Procedure.

Unapproved Leave

(27) All absences must have prior approval.

Continuity of Service

(28) All paid education leave will count as service for the purpose of leave accrual, length of service and incremental progression.

Compliance and Breaches

(29) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(30) Refer to the Leave - Education Leave Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(31) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(32) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.