Annual Leave Management Policy

Responsibility for policy: Director of Human Resource Management
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: April 2016
Next review date: April 2021

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  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato, except
    • casual staff - who receive a proportionate payment in lieu of annual leave at the conclusion of their employment
    • fixed-term staff employed for one year or less - who receive payment in lieu of annual leave at the conclusion of their employment unless the taking of annual leave during the term of employment is specified in their employment agreement.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles and processes that apply with respect to the management of annual leave entitlements.

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy, annual leave means a holiday, other than a public holiday, to which staff members are entitled by virtue of either legislative requirements or the specified terms and conditions of their employment agreement.

Managing annual leave

  1. Line managers must provide their staff with the opportunity to take their full annual leave entitlement for the year; a line manager must allow a staff member to take at least two weeks of his or her annual leave entitlement in a continuous period.
  2. Unless approval is given by their line manager to do otherwise under clause 8 of this policy, all staff must take their annual leave entitlement within 12 months of the date on which the entitlement fell due.
  3. Wherever possible, the timing of annual leave should be determined by agreement between the staff member and his or her line manager; where agreement cannot be reached, the relevant line manager has authority to direct the staff member to take annual leave over a specified period provided that the staff member is given at least 14 days notice of the start of the leave period.
  4. Subject to the provisions of the relevant employment agreement, staff who wish to apply to carry forward annual leave must make an application to their line manager to do so, using the application form available on iWaikato, and setting out the special circumstances that apply and the date by which the leave will be taken.
  5. Subject to prior approval by their line manager, staff may take annual leave in anticipation of entitlement; the number of days anticipated may not exceed the number of days accrued.
  6. Where the University observes a close-down period, it can require staff to take annual leave during that period provided at least 14 days notice is given; staff who have not accrued sufficient annual leave at the time of the close-down period may be permitted by their line manager to take annual leave in advance of accrual or, if they wish, leave without pay.
  7. A staff member who has been granted annual leave in advance of accrual under clause 10 of this policy, and who resigns with a negative annual leave balance will be required to reimburse the University for the cost of the outstanding balance of leave taken in advance.
  8. All applications for annual leave and approvals must be made through the University's online leave system Aku Mahi; any changes to annual leave bookings require the approval of the relevant line manager and must also be made through Aku Mahi.
  9. On termination of employment, a staff member will receive payment for any annual leave that has not been taken, including payment for any annual leave accrued towards their next leave entitlement.


  1. Staff are responsible for
    1. taking annual leave in accordance with this policy and relevant legislative and contractual requirements
    2. ensuring that their own annual leave is booked and recorded accurately in Aku Mahi.
  2. Deans, Directors and equivalent are responsible for ensuring that
    1. annual leave in their area of responsibility is managed in accordance with this policy and relevant legislative and contractual requirements, and is not carried forward by default
    2. any concerns brought to their attention by the Director of Human Resource Management about excessive leave liability for their area are addressed.
  3. The Director of Human Resource Management is responsible for
    1. the maintenance and integrity of the Aku Mahi system
    2. the provision of annual leave reports to enable Deans, Directors and equivalent to monitor and manage annual leave within their areas of responsibility
    3. the provision of information and advice about annual leave to line managers and staff
    4. identifying situations where, in his or her opinion, the annual leave liability for a particular area is excessive as a result of annual leave being carried forward, and for ensuring that the matter is brought to the attention of the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Director of Human Resource Management is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

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