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Leave Policy


Next review
Mon, 09 November 2026

To outline staff leave entitlements and arrangements.

Approved on: 09 Nov 2023
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by


Approved by

College Board

Policy Contact: 
Chief Operations Officer
College Melbourne School of Theology
Executive Management Team This group comprises the Executive Principal, Chief Operations Officer
Faculty Those staff who have been designated and remunerated as teaching members of staff, and for which specific policies apply because of their role in teaching.
MST Melbourne School of Theology
NES National Employment Standards
One Semester One Semester refers specifically to the academic calendar. Unless by prior agreement, it will not incorporate those times during which there are no classes when the College is open (such as during the summer period).
Staff This is the general term used for all people employed by MST, whether full-time, part-time or casual. Volunteers and contracted workers are not covered under this policy.

Employees of the College are employed according to the provisions of the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2020, the Fair Work Act 2009 and National Employment Standards. Long Service Leave is given under the provisions of the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018.

To the extent that an employee’s terms and conditions of employment are not more favourable, the minimum entitlements under the National Employment Standards (NES) apply to all MST employees.


To outline staff leave entitlements and arrangements.


This policy applies to all permanent and casual College faculty and staff.


Hours of Work

A full-time position requires 37.5 hours per week and is generally worked between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

How to apply for leave

All applications for leave should be made using the Leave Application Form on the College website.

Public Holidays

MST observes the following public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Australia Day
  • Labour Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Anzac Day
  • Queen’s Birthday
  • Day Before Grand Final Day (if gazetted)
  • Melbourne Cup Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

In addition, MST observes Christmas Eve as a compulsory College holiday for all employees, which is not considered part of an individual's annual leave. This College is closed and the day cannot be accrued. 

Leave Types

  • Annual Leave
  • Personal/Carer's and Compassionate Leave
  • Community Service Leave
  • Long Service Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Study Leave
  • Family & Domestic Violence Leave

Annual Leave

Annual Leave is one of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements.

At MST, this annual leave is normally taken during the Summer Break (December/January). Full time employees are entitled to 4 weeks paid leave per year (pro-rata for part time employees). Staff members are encouraged to take their annual leave at regular intervals and are not permitted to accumulate more than 6 weeks annual leave (pro-rata for part time employees) accrued at any time. Upon termination, the balance of any annual leave accrued will be paid out to the staff member as a lump sum.

Annual leave requests must be approved by the Supervisor to ensure appropriate entitlement, adequate availability of other staff members, and compatibility with MST’s calendar and will not unreasonably refuse the taking of annual leave. Staff members must ensure that they notify their Supervisor well in advance of their leave request. MST will endeavour to accommodate leave requests where it is does not interfere with the running of MST.

Assumed Annual Leave

The closure of MST during the standard working days between 25 December and 1 January each year will be determined by the MST Leadership Team. Any working days involved in the closure will be treated as Assumed Annual Leave. Assumed Annual Leave will be automatically deducted from each employee’s annual leave entitlement, ie a leave application form is not required for these days.

The closure arrangements may be varied for one or more employees to meet essential operational requirements or extraordinary circumstances. In the case where an employee arranges with their Supervisor to work on any of these days, they will need to submit a Leave form to cancel their ‘Assumed Leave’, signed off by the Supervisor and submitted to Finance.

Personal/Carer’s Leave and Compassionate Leave

Personal/Carer’s Leave and Compassionate Leave are part of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements.

Personal/Carer’s Leave

Employees may take paid Personal/Carer’s leave of up to 10 business days per annum for full time staff members. Part time staff members are entitled the days according to their work fraction.

This leave accrues and is accumulative from year to year. Full time and part time permanent staff members accrue this leave on a pro-rata basis and entitlement. Should a public holiday fall within leave taken, the public holiday/s will not be counted or included in the period.

An employee (other than a casual employee) may take paid Personal/Carer’s Leave:

  • If they are unfit for work because of their own personal illness or injury, or
  • To provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household, because of a personal illness, injury or emergency affecting the member. A member of the employee’s immediate family means a spouse or former spouse, de facto partner or former de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of an employee; or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner). This definition includes step-relations (for example, stepparents and step-children) as well as adoptive relations. A household member is any person who lives with the employee.

Employees should notify the College as soon as practicable that they are taking Personal or Carer’s Leave and advise the period or expected period of absence. The College may request evidence, eg a Doctor’s certificate, to substantiate your reason for leave.

Unpaid Carer’s Leave

An employee (including a casual employee) is entitled to two days of unpaid Carer’s Leave for each occasion when a member of the employee’s immediate family or household requires care or support because of a personal illness, injury, or an emergency. Full time and part time employees cannot however take unpaid Carer’s Leave if they could instead take paid personal/carer’s Leave.

Compassionate Leave

An employee (including a casual employee) is entitled to two days of compassionate leave to spend time with a member of their immediate family or household who has sustained a life-threatening illness or injury; a baby in their immediate family or household is stillborn; they have a miscarriage; their current spouse or de facto partner has a miscarriage. Compassionate Leave may also be taken after the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family or household. A member of the employee’s immediate family means a spouse or former spouse, de facto partner or former de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of an employee; or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner). This definition includes step-relations (for example, stepparent and stepchild) as well as adoptive relations. Employees can take compassionate leave for other relatives (for example, cousins, aunts, and uncles) if they are a member of the employee’s household or if their employer agrees.

Compassionate Leave for each occasion may be taken as:

  • A single continuous two-day period or
  • Two separate periods of one day each or
  • Any separate periods agreed between you and the College.

An employee taking compassionate leave must give their employer notice as soon as they can (this may be after the leave has started). The employee must tell the employer how much leave they are taking, or expect to take, and when.

An employer can request evidence about the reason for compassionate leave (for example, a death or funeral notice or statutory declaration). This request for evidence must be reasonable. If the employee does not provide the requested notice or evidence, they may not get compassionate leave.

Community Service Leave

Community Service Leave is one of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements. Employees, including casual employees, can take community service leave for activities such as voluntary emergency management activities or jury duty. An employee is entitled to leave for jury

service and unpaid leave for voluntary emergency activities. Apart from jury duty, community service leave is unpaid

Voluntary emergency management activity

An employee engages in a voluntary emergency management activity if:

  • the activity involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster
  • the employee engages in the activity on a voluntary basis
  • the employee was either requested to engage in an activity, or it would be reasonable to expect that such a request would have been made if circumstances had permitted, and
  • the employee is a member of or has a member-like association with a recognised emergency management body.

Recognised emergency management body

A recognised emergency management body is:

  • a body that has a role or function under a plan that is for coping with emergencies / natural disasters (prepared by the Commonwealth or a state or territory)
  • a firefighting, civil defence, or rescue body
  • any other body which is involved in responding to an emergency or natural disaster.

This includes bodies such as:

  • the State Emergency Service (SES)
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • the RSPCA (in respect of animal rescue during emergencies or natural disasters).

An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they are engaged in the activity and for reasonable travel and rest time. There is no limit on the amount of community service leave an employee can take.

Jury Duty

Employees are required to notify their Supervisor as soon as possible of the date and duration on which they are required to attend Jury duty. MST will release employees for Jury Duty. In Victoria, the Juries Act 2000(Vic) requires the employer to continue to pay an employee for as long as that employee is on jury service. Jury payments are paid by cheque from Court Services Victoria and the staff member is required to produce a certificate stating the days attended and evidence of jury payments. MST will make up the difference between any amounts paid by the courts and their base wage.

Employee’s leave entitlements will continue for the entire period that the employee is required by the court.

Long Service Leave

Long Service Leave is one of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements. Long Service Leave is granted according to the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018. The Act provides that after at least 7 years’ continuous employment with one employer, an employee is entitled to take their Long Service Leave to be paid any unused long service leave entitlement if employment ends. The entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Where possible, staff should provide at least 6 months’ notice of their intended leave dates.

  • Administration staff must receive approval for Long Service Leave from their Supervisor and the Chief Operations Officer.
  • Academic staff must receive approval for Long Service Leave from the Executive Principal.
  • The Executive Principal must seek approval for Long Service Leave from the Board.

The Act provides that leave can be taken for any period of not less than one day at a time.

Parental Leave

Parental Leave is one of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements. Employees are eligible for unpaid Parental Leave if they have completed at least 12 months of continuous service. Casual employees may also be eligible under certain conditions.

Employees who have taken parental leave do not have to work for another 12 months before they can take another period of parental leave with that same employer. However, if they have started work with a new employer, they will need to work with that employer for at least 12 months before they can take parental leave.

Parental leave is leave that can be taken after:

  • an employee gives birth
  • an employee’s spouse or de facto partner gives birth
  • an employee adopts a child under 16 years of age.

Employees are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. They can also request up to an additional 12 months of leave.

Pre-adoption leave

Employees who are taking parental leave to care for an adopted child are also entitled to 2 days unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend relevant interviews or examinations.

This leave cannot be used if an employer tells an employee to take another type of leave (for example, paid annual leave).

If you are considering taking Parental Leave speak to Human Resources for further information and/or read the fact sheet on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

Employees (including casual employees) may also have an entitlement to the federal government’s paid parental leave scheme. This is a federal government scheme managed by the Family Assistance Office. This scheme provides Government-funded Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage for a maximum period of 18 weeks to employees who meet the eligibility criteria. For more information, you can visit the Family Assistance Office’s website or contact the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50.

Study Leave

The Australian College of Theology which accredits the degrees of the College expects all members of the Consortium to offer Study Leave for their Faculty. The Board recognises the importance of such a provision.

Normally, on Study Leave, the faculty member will pursue research with a view to publication or pursue a specific course of study in Australia or overseas. If the necessary time to complete a course leading to a degree is longer than the period of Study Leave available, the Board is prepared to examine the possibility of granting further leave, normally without remuneration, to enable completion. Study Leave may also be used in study, writing, research or in teaching in some other College approved by the Board, where such study, writing, research or teaching is thought to have promise of benefit for teaching in this College. A remunerated appointment may involve a financial adjustment by the Board between the Faculty member and College, and the Board is to be advised of any remuneration received while on such leave. Or, all or a part of the Study Leave may be spent in a particular missionary, pastoral, evangelistic or teaching situation where such involvement may provide personal enrichment and serve a useful ‘refresher’ purpose for the Faculty member’s continuing task in the College. Part or all of the Study Leave may be spent on other purposes as may be proposed and approved by the Board. The following points should be noted.

  • Study Leave is made available by the Board only for approved programs presented in writing. Faculty applying for Study Leave should set out in their proposal:
  • the goals or objectives of their Study Leave
  • the benefits of their proposal to their own personal development and ministry, and to the ministry of the College
  • Details of Study Leave should be worked out in consultation with the Executive Principal, and normally be presented to the Board 12 months in advance of the proposed Leave.
  • Each Faculty member granted Study Leave will be expected to present to the Board a written report on his/her study program within two months of his/her return to service.
  • Appropriate records of Study Leave approvals will be maintained in the Faculty member’s HR file.
  • In accordance with ACT guidelines, paid study leave of one calendar semester will ordinarily be provided to full-time academic staff after no less than nine semesters teaching. Study leave will only be made available on application to the College Board.
  • There must be a period of at least three years' service between any grants of a Study Leave.
  • A Faculty member will normally be expected to serve with the College for at least two years after returning from Study Leave. For this reason, Study Leave will not normally be granted to a Faculty member within two years of retirement.
  • Board will provide remuneration at the normal level for the period of Study Leave.
  • It is expected that the Executive Principal will ensure that College life should not be disadvantaged by a Faculty member undertaking Study Leave, and leave will normally be granted to only one member of Faculty at a time.
  • As the annual vacation is of four weeks’ duration, with a further two weeks in mid or inter semester vacations, any further time taken during the periods when the College is in recess will be regarded as part of the Study Leave
  • Normally Study Leave will not be approved for more than one semester. Annual Leave will be additional to Study Leave.
  • If a Faculty member is granted a reduced teaching load or relief from normal administrative responsibilities to enable him/her to pursue an approved study program, then this would be seen as a partial Study Leave Program provision and treated as such in adjusting any further Outside Study Program request made by the Faculty member concerned.

A Faculty member who wishes to undertake a new study program, while continuing with full responsibilities as a Faculty member of the College, should receive approval from the Board through the Executive Principal prior to the commencement of the study program.

Family & Domestic Violence Leave

Family and Domestic Violence Leave is one of the eleven National Employment Standards entitlements. All employees (including part-time and casual employees) are entitled to 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave each year.

Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening, or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s close relative that:

  • seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • causes them harm or fear.

A close relative is an employee's:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling

A close relative is also an employee's current or former spouse or de facto partner's child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, or a person related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Support Services

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling, information, and support service. People who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family, or sexual violence, can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit This service can also provide confidential information about what it means to be experiencing domestic, family, or sexual violence.