Special Leave

ELIGIBILITY (89/20; 91/37; 92/67; 95/68; 95/70)

1. Special Leave

The Premier has agreed that special leave with pay will be granted to all public sector workers (including employees in the health system) who are:

members of their relevant union; and

accredited by their union as a delegate to their union conferences, executive meetings or annual conference of either the Labour Council of NSW or the bi-annual congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Any delegate who wished to attend a conference is required to:

establish that they are accredited delegates; and

must do this in sufficient time to allow their health service to make arrangements for work and duties to be carried out during the time of absence of the employee.

It is necessary for the employee to inform the health service within sufficient time by way of documentary evidence from the union showing that the person applying for special leave is an accredited delegate.

Health services will not meet any costs/expenses of the employee in attending these conference, etc.

The above applies where an employee is rostered on duty, however, no credit is to be allowed for any conference day, etc., which coincides with a day on which the employee has been rostered off duty, or which is a non-working day.

2. Generally, apart from the circumstances set out in point (1) above employees who undertake business on behalf of an employee association must do so in their own time, however, in circumstances such as attending:

local meetings with management as the representative of employees;

as a witness or advocate on behalf of the employees before a tribunal;

as a member of a conciliation committee; and

as a representative with union official/s in meetings with Central Office/health service management

no deduction in ordinary wages should be made. The same benefit should be applied equally to other employee representatives.

Preparation time and any travelling expenses involved in the circumstances mentioned above will not be payable as a general rule unless agreed to by Central Office/health service management.


Special leave may be granted up to a maximum of 12 days in any period of two years to employees who are members of registered Industrial Unions to attend short Trade Union training courses or seminars conducted by or with the support of the Trade Union Training Authority.

This discretion will continue on the basis that other representatives of employees are treated similarly to attend courses/seminars involving employee relations training. Proof of nomination and attendance will be required.

The grant of leave is subject to the following conditions:

The employer's operating requirements permit the grant of leave and the absence does not require the employment of relief staff;

Payment will be at ordinary pay, i.e. it shall not include shift allowances, penalty rates or overtime;

Leave granted for these courses will count as service for all purposes;

Expenses associated with attendance at such courses or seminars, e.g. fares, accommodation, meal costs etc., will be required to be met by the employees concerned but, subject to the maximum prescribed above, special leave may include travelling time necessarily required during working hours to attend courses or seminars;

Applications for leave must be accompanied by an statement from the relevant Union that it has nominated the employee concerned for such a course or seminar and supports the application.

Generally, the grant of special leave:

is at the convenience of the employer;

must be confined to a minimum of staff;

is for the minimum necessary period;

is dependent upon an application being made to the employer in advance;

is, subject to any specific provision above, payable at the base rate of pay (including, where appropriate, relevant allowances that would normally be paid on that day - excluding shift allowances, penalty rates or overtime);

is not to incur liability by the employer in fares, overtime, travelling compensation, travelling and sustenance allowances, meal money etc.; and

is not to extend beyond the standard hours for the employee for that day.

Granting of leave to attend seminars on professional aspects of work conducted by unions where members and non-members are eligible to attend should be based on normal staff development considerations.


The services of an employee may be loaned to a union upon request on the same terms normally adopted in considering requests for secondments and temporary transfers on the basis that:

the loan of services is to be regarded as leave without pay;

the Union is required to meet all on-costs, including superannuation; and

service whilst on loan will count for long service leave purposes.


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The Career Medical Officers Association strongly recommends that users exercise their own skill and care
with respect to its contents and contact their industrial representatives for clarification.

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