Under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001, employers must release Reservists when they are required to undertake periods of Reserve service including any training to prepare for that service.
When administering leave, an employer may request written notification from the ADF regarding the leave being applied for. The ADF has a standardised form called an AE 380, Tri-Service Notice of ADF Reserve Service and this form is used by the Navy, Army and Air Force.
The form is in two parts, the first part provides the details of the intended Reserve service while the second part provides confirmation that the Reserve service was completed. Employers are encouraged to introduce leave policies for staff who are also Reservists.
Australian Government leave guidelines
Supportive Employers in Australian Public Service (APS) agencies and Commonwealth authorities and companies must have leave policies for Reservists.
As part of the guidelines, the APS provides paid ADF Reserve Leave for employees to undertake Reserve service. The number of weeks Reserve leave may vary from department to another
This means Reservists may take leave for some or all of their ADF Reserve service without using other forms of leave.
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State and Territory Government
State and Territory Government employers are encouraged to have leave policies for their employees who are also Reservists.
Each State and Territory has different leave guidelines for Reservists.
For overarching leave guidelines, look at the Australian Government leave guidelines.
Specific State and Territory leave guidelines:
Local Government employers are encouraged to have leave policies for their employees who are also Reservists.
For overarching leave guidelines, look at the Australian Government arrangements.
Private sector employers are encouraged to have leave policies for their employees who are also Reservists.
Under the guidelines, you're encouraged to create a separate leave policy for Reservists. The policy should take into account Reserve service and training commitments.
It should also acknowledge that Reserve training enhances job performance and contributes to national security.
A supportive policy should include the following:
- Grant 2 weeks (10 working days / 14 calendar days) ADF Reserve service leave each year (at a minimum) in addition to the employee's annual leave.
- The ADF Reserve service leave can be either paid leave (Full pay or Top-Up pay) or unpaid leave in line with current legislation.
- Provide access to additional leave for Defence service if required by the Australian Defence Force.
- Support Reservists during their first year of service including recruit training. This means the Reservist can develop the necessary competency skills and qualifications through training.
- Ensure absence on Defence service doesn't affect your employee's job opportunities, including the chance for promotion.
- Preserve access to other entitlements during absences on Defence service.
This includes counting periods of leave without pay as service for accrual of annual leave and long service leave entitlements up to a pre-determined period, for example, up to six weeks of unpaid leave per year may count towards the accrual of annual or long service leave etc.
Download the following documents:
Make sure every level of management in the organisation is aware of the policy.
Applying for Leave
Reservists must be released to undertake Reserve service, including training without disadvantage under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001.
Whether you're a public or private sector employee or partner, find out what's expected of you and what you're entitled to.
When you undertake Reserve service, you may elect to take leave from your civilian job.
To reduce the impact your absence will have on your employer, you need to give them as much notice as possible and when you can do so, be flexible with your Defence leave dates.
Leave periods required
The amount of leave you may need to apply for when required to undertake Reserve service will vary.
Leave for Defence service can include:
- initial recruit training - allow up to 7 weeks
- Initial employment training – allow a minimum of 2 weeks
- annual exercises / camps - allow up to 2 weeks
- specialist courses - varies by course, allow up to 12 weeks
- deployment for service - varies, allow up to 8 months
- general Reserve service
Last update: Monday, 5 March 2018