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Leave Policy – AU

Leave Policy

Policy

Taking time off can help you to have a healthy balance between your work and personal life.

You can take leave for many reasons, including to go on a holiday, because you are sick or to take care of sick family members. Minimum leave entitlements come from the National Employment Standards (NES). Where the entitlements or practices in this document conflict, the applicable award, employment contract or employment law takes precedence.

Scope

This Policy applies to all Global Marketplace team members based in Australia. There is a separate Policy for New Zealand due to different legislative terms and conditions of employment.

Taking leave

All leave requests must be mutually agreed and take into account workloads and the needs of your team and the wider business.

Leave must be approved in advance, except when you can’t anticipate your absence e.g. sick leave.

To apply or notify about any leave please complete a Leave Request Form via Xero Me. Once submitted, the Leave Form is sent to your Manager for approval. Approved Leave Request Forms will be recorded on your Xero profile.

Annual leave

Annual leave is an important part of your employment. Taking annual leave can help you maintain a healthy work/life balance, which has been identified as a high priority in our Wellbeing Surveys. Not taking a reasonable amount of annual leave may pose a threat to your health and safety and also represents a significant financial liability for the Company. Annual leave allows you to be paid while having time off from work.

Who is entitled to annual leave?

Everyone, except casuals are entitled to annual leave. You are entitled to 20 days paid annual leave a year (pro-rata if you work part-time).

Why taking leave is important

You are encouraged and it is preferred by the Company for you to take all accrued annual leave within 12 months of accruing that annual leave.

Annual leave is an important part of your employment. Taking annual leave can help you maintain work/life balance. Not taking a reasonable amount of annual leave may pose a threat to your health and safety and also represents a significant financial liability for the Company.

Accruing annual leave

Leave entitlements accrue on a pro-rata basis throughout the year, are cumulative (any unused annual leave will roll over from one year to the next) and are paid out when you leave Global Marketplace.

Applying for leave

Applications for annual leave should, if possible, be made at least 4 weeks prior to the first day of your requested leave. The Company may reasonably refuse a request for annual leave ­­­­where the operational requirements of the business necessitate such a refusal.

In some circumstances, leave in advance of leave you have accrued may be approved. This would be in exceptional circumstances and is at the sole discretion of your Manager. This is also conditional on you agreeing to the Company deducting any advance in the event of termination of your employment, or you accepting leave without pay. If approved this must result in your annual leave balance being no more than 5 days negative leave.

How much leave can you take?

Generally, applications for leave in excess of 4 weeks will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. This is as being away from your team for such a lengthy period would place too much pressure on your colleagues and affect business operations.

As it is generally quiet due to the industry shut down over Christmas the best time to take a lengthy break from work is over Xmas / New Year. Please discuss further with your Manager, in good time, before planning a lengthy break from work to avoid disappointment.

Business closedown and gifted annual leave

We customarily close our offices over the Christmas and New Year period. Our business, however, will continue to have customer support obligations during this time and we do run a skeleton team structure to fulfil this.

We will let you know in writing at least 6 weeks prior before any closedown, including dates and how many days’ annual leave or other leave you will need to take. The Company normally closes for a period over Christmas and New Year of approximately ten (10) days, which needs to be taken as part of your annual leave entitlement. Please keep this in mind when planning how to use your annual leave during the year.

Please be aware that you must take annual leave, for days that are otherwise working days for you and are not public holidays during any office closure. If you don’t have enough annual leave to cover this, we will consider other options, e.g., leave in advance or leave without pay.

For all employees that have passed their probation period, the Company gives 3 days’ extra paid leave to use during the end of year closedown period. Please keep this in mind when planning how to use your annual leave during the year. The gifted leave is to be used during the specified end of year closedown dates and cannot be carried forward and used at a later date nor will be paid out if unused. Any gifted annual leave days are not applicable to anyone who is leaving the Company i.e. has given notice of their intention to resign or has not passed their probation period. This leave is paid at your normal base rate of pay. This benefit may be reviewed from time to time.

Cashing in annual leave

The Company may agree to cash in an amount of accrued annual leave. The exception to this is where it would result in you having less than 4 weeks remaining. Further, as per the National Employment Standards (NES) the maximum amount of paid annual leave that can be cashed out in any period of 12 months is 2 weeks.

To apply to have your leave cashed out you should discuss this with and then make an application in writing to your Manager. If approved, you will receive a letter setting out the details of the amount of annual leave to be cashed out and the date on which the payment will be made. This will need to be signed by you.

For your own health and safety, and the importance of having a break from work, cashing in of annual leave will be approved only in exceptional circumstances e.g., excessive annual leave balance, extreme financial hardship.

Excessive annual leave

The Company deems an annual leave balance of 40 days (8 weeks) to be excessive, which is consistent with current legislation.

Where your annual leave is excessive your Manager will meet with you to genuinely try and reach agreement with you about how to reduce your annual leave balance. They will discuss:

  • why you have so much accrued annual leave.
  • let you know you need to reduce your annual leave and have a break from work.
  • help you work out a plan for how to reduce it.

You need to be aware that where agreement cannot be reached the Company can direct you to take one or more periods of annual leave. If we do this we will write to you setting out the details and give you at least 8 weeks’ but not more than 12 months’ notice that you need to take leave. Any plan to reduce your annual leave must comply with the following:

  • your remaining annual leave balance must not be less than 6 weeks.
  • you will not be required to take a period of annual leave of less than 1 week.

Wherever possible the Company will seek to reach agreement with you before giving you a direction.

Personal (sick and carer’s) leave

Personal (sick and carer’s) leave lets you take time off to help deal with personal illness, caring responsibilities and family emergencies.

Stay home if you are sick, especially if your illness could spread to others.

From time-to-time you may have to take time off to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or help during a family emergency. This is known as carer’s leave but it comes out of your personal leave balance.

Full time team members are entitled to 10 days of paid personal (sick and carer’s) leave (pro-rata for part time employees) each year. All employees (including casuals) are entitled to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion an immediate family or household member of the employees needs care and support due to:

  • Illness
  • Injury or
  • An unexpected emergency.

Full-time and part-time employees can only get unpaid carer’s leave if they don’t have any paid sick / carer’s leave left.

Unused sick leave is not paid out upon termination of employment.

What is an immediate family or household member?

An immediate family member is a:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling, or
  • 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 (e.g., step-parents and step-children) as well as adoptive relations.

A household member is any person who lives with the employee.

Absence notification

You must notify your Manager as soon as possible if you are unable to attend work due to illness or injury and following your return to work complete a Leave Request Form.

Providing a Medical Certificate

A medical certificate or proof of illness or injury certificate from your GP or equivalent is required in the following instances

  • if you take more than 2 consecutive days of sick leave or carer’s leave,
  • if you are absent from work the day before or after a long weekend, or
  • the day before or after Annual Leave commences or ends, or
  • If you have taken more than 4 non-certificate sick days in the last 12 months.

As part of the company’s absence management plan, the company allows 4 non-certificate days in a 12-month period. This means proof of illness or injury must be provided for any personal leave taken that has surpassed the 4-day allowance.

Sickness while on holidays

If you get sick before you are due to go on holiday, you can change the relevant amount of annual leave to sick leave.

If you get sick while you are on annual holidays, you can apply to change the relevant amount of annual leave to sick leave. We might agree — and we might ask for a medical certificate.

Public holidays

All team members (except casual employees) who normally work on the day a public holiday falls, are entitled to be paid for that day. This will be at your base rate of pay.

Compassionate & bereavement leave

Everyone (including casuals) are entitled to compassionate leave (also known as bereavement leave). Compassionate leave can be taken when a member of your immediate family or household:

  • dies or
  • contracts or develops a life-threatening illness or injury.

You are entitled to a period of 2 days paid compassionate leave for each occasion where a family member has died or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury. Additional unpaid leave maybe granted at the discretion of your Manager.

The compassionate leave can be taken as:

  • a single continuous 2-day period, or
  • 2 separate periods of 1 day each, or
  • any separate periods agreed.

Long service leave (LSL)

Long service leave recognises your continuous service at the Company. It’s a chance for you to rest and relax. You are entitled to take long service leave (LSL) in accordance with the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018. You are entitled to take long service leave after a minimum of 7 years continuous employment with Global Marketplace.

The amount of leave you are entitled to take is calculated on one-sixtieth of the period of employment, i.e. number of weeks employment divided by 60 equals the number of weeks entitlement. For example, if you have worked for 7 years, convert this to weeks, divide by 60, and this equals approximately 6.1 weeks. 6.1 weeks is the long service leave entitlement at that time.

Taking LSL

You can request to take LSL at any time after you reach 7 years continuous employment. We will grant your leave as soon as practicable unless there are ‘reasonable business grounds’ for refusing your request.

Long service leave can be taken for any period of 1 day or more. It could be taken all at once or for any period of not less than 1 day at a time.  You might like to take 1 day off a week for a period of time e.g. every Friday off for 12 weeks, to afford you a longer rest from work as well as if the Company has asked you to reduce your balance.

You can also request to take a period of long service leave for twice as long as the period to which you are entitled, at half your ordinary pay.

Can I work for another employer on LSL?

It is an offence to work while on long service leave. However, where you have more than one job (for example, another part-time job), you may continue to work at that job whilst you are on long service leave from your role with us, providing you do not work during the part time hours from which you are on long service leave.

Direction to take LSL

Where you have accrued, what the Company deems a high amount of long service leave, your Manager will meet with you to discuss your plans for taking some leave. Your Manager will ask you to fill in a Long Service Leave Plan form, to outline your plan for reducing your leave balance.

If you’ve accumulated more than 6 weeks of long service leave, we may direct you to take at least 6 weeks of your leave. We will give you at least 12 weeks’ written notice that you need to take long service leave.

Cashing out LSL

It is an offence under the LSL Act 2018 to give or receive payment instead of you actually taking a break from work.

What happens if my employment ends?

There is no entitlement to be paid for accrued long service leave unless you have at least 7 years’ continuous employment immediately before your employment ends.

Family & domestic violence leave

All team members (including part-time and casual team members) are entitled to 10 days PAID family and domestic violence leave each 12-month period.

This leave is available in full immediately. It doesn’t accumulate from year to year. You can take leave if you are experiencing family and domestic violence, and you need to do something to deal with the impact of that violence and it’s impractical to do that outside of your ordinary hours of work.

What is family and domestic violence?

Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by someone known to you that both:

  • seeks to coerce or control you,
  • causes you harm or fear.

The individual could be:

  • Your close relative
  • A member of your household or
  • A current or former intimate partner.

A close relative is your:

  • spouse or former spouse,
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner,
  • child,
  • parent,
  • grandparent,
  • grandchild,
  • sibling,
  • your current or former spouse or de facto partner’s child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling, or
  • a person related to you according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Taking leave

If you need to take family and domestic violence leave you need to let us know as soon as possible. This can happen after the leave has started. You also need to let us know how long you expect your leave to last. We can also ask for evidence including:

  • Documents issued by the police
  • Documents issued by a court
  • Family violence support service documents
  • A statutory declaration

Parental leave

In line with our aspiration to be a business of choice, the Company provides paid salary top up parental leave to primary care givers as follows:

  • Primary carer – paid parental leave by way of a salary top up from the Australian Government Parental Pay amount for a period of 6 weeks top up and up to a limit of $1,200 gross per week, including the Government pay.
  • For example, if your normal gross weekly salary is $1,200 and you receive $800 from the Government, the Company will pay you the difference of $400 for 6 weeks.
  • If your normal weekly salary is $1,000 and you receive $800 from the Government, the Company will pay you the difference of $200 for 6 weeks.

Please refer to the Parents policy for eligibility criteria and more information.

Time in lieu

From time-to-time team members may be required to work extra hours to accommodate a pressing work issue, attend meetings or represent the Company outside of their usual working hours.

Time off in lieu of paid overtime will be offered as an option to team members who are required to work hours over and above their normal contractually agreed hours.

This arrangement is designed to ensure that you are not working excessive hours and to ensure work/life balance. It is not expected that time in lieu will be a standard or regular occurrence.

Time in lieu can be accrued and taken only with the prior approval of your Manager and must be approved in advance unless exceptional circumstances exist i.e., if you choose to stay late to complete work without prior approval then you will not be eligible to make a request for time in lieu.

Ideally time off in lieu will be taken within 6 weeks of the additional hours being worked. Any time in lieu worked but not taken within this time frame will be automatically paid out in the next available pay run. Any time in lieu accrued, will usually be paid out upon termination of employment at your normal hourly rate of pay.

Leave for other reasons

Jury duty

Take this leave when you are called for jury service or to be a court witness. This will be paid leave.

You are entitled to paid leave for jury duty in accordance with legislation. If you are on jury service should supply the official request to attend, the details of attendance and the amount the court has paid you. Global Marketplace will reimburse you the difference between this amount and your base salary. If you are absent because of jury service of more than 10 days in total, you will be paid for the first 10 days of absence only.

Special leave

We may agree to requests for leave you are not entitled to in special circumstances.

Examples of special leave include:

  • when you run out of sick leave
  • to participate in an important sporting or cultural event, e.g. representing Australia
  • on an approved study course

This will be paid in some instances.

Emergency services leave policy

If you need to take a temporary absence from work because of voluntary emergency management activities (for example, as a volunteer dealing with an emergency or natural disaster as a member of SES, CFA or Army Reserve) then you should ask your Manager for leave as soon as possible after you become aware of the need to take leave.

Global marketplace will support such activities wherever possible, as an important community service. Global Marketplace may require evidence of these activities at its discretion.

Leave without pay

Management has the discretion to approve leave without pay that an employee is not otherwise entitled to.

END OF POLICY

Author:People and Culture
Approved by:Grant Arnott
Effective date:7 July 2022
Review date:2 years
Date of last amendment30 October 2023

This Policy is uncontrolled when printed.

The current version of this Policy is available on the WIKI.

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