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5.1.1 Purpose

5.1.1A Definitions


This definition refers to when a member becomes eligible for a payment. The actual payment takes longer.

5.1.2 Leave – overview


Examples: Basic recreation leave, long service leave.

In the total workforce system, continuous full-time service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.


Examples: Leave without pay, compassionate leave.


Examples: Leave to be absent from duty for medical reasons (this is called a medical absence), examination leave, short absence following long or unusual duty.

Leave types

  1. Key features of the major ADF leave types are set out in this table.

  2. This table is a summary. For full details of each condition see the relevant part of this Chapter.

    Item Leave type Purpose Accrues Comments
    1. Additional recreation leave for non-warlike service To enable a member to obtain relief from military and environmental hazards in an operational area. Y  
    2. Additional recreation leave – remote location To compensate members for the effects of service over time in a remote location. Y It is automatically credited during eligible service.
    3. Additional recreation leave – sea, field and flight duty (ARL)

    To compensate members for service in certain situations which are:

    1. under a continuous full-time shipboard routine;

    2. in the field; or

    3. performing military flight duties.

    Y The leave is linked to payment of an associated disability allowance.
    4. Additional recreation leave for training ('trainee leave') Additional recreation leave for training is for a member who must take a break from a course and who does not have enough recreation leave credit to cover the absence. N This form of leave was formerly referred to as trainee leave.
    5. Basic recreation leave (BRL) Recreation leave allows a member time to rest for a substantial period each year or to attend to personal matters. A period of leave should help them remain efficient and effective in their duties. Y It is automatically credited to members.
    6. Carer's leave To allow the member to provide direct care and support to a dependant who is sick
    To allow the member to provide direct care and support to a dependant who cannot be cared for because of another dependant's sickness.
    N It is granted at management discretion.
    7. Compassionate leave To deal with the death, very serious illness or serious illness of a close relative. N It is granted at management discretion.
    8. Examination leave To attend examinations connected with a course of study for which the member is given Commonwealth financial assistance for the payment of fees. N It is granted on occurrence.
    9. Extra recreation leave (ERL) To give a member time for rest after they perform arduous or prolonged hours of duty. Y It is credited at management discretion.
    10. Field leave
    Flying leave

    Leave without pay

    To provide for absence from duty where no other leave entitlement is sufficient or appropriate, in circumstances where the member wishes to continue to serve in the Defence Force. N It is granted at management discretion. It is generally regarded as leave of last resort. For a member with a flexible service determination it may be the means by which absences from the workplace are managed.
    12. Long service leave To provide members who have served for 10 years or more with the opportunity for an extended period away from work. Some previous service may count towards this. Y Long service leave is automatically credited to members. It is a seven-day- week leave type. It is granted for a continuous period of calendar days, including weekends and public holidays.
    13. Maternity leave The leave recognises the physical aspects of the later stages of pregnancy, childbirth and recovery after childbirth. It also provides time for initial care of the child. N Maternity leave consists of paid and unpaid leave. An application cannot be refused for any reason. New members may not have access to the paid leave component. The leave includes a period of required absence.
    14. Medical absence To provide the member with paid leave to be absent from duty when unfit for health reasons. N The member can be excused from duty for health reasons that include any of medical, mental health, dental and rehabilitation reasons.
    15. Parental leave To assist members and their dependants to spend time with their newborn or adopted dependent child. N  
    16. Pre-deployment leave To enable members proceeding on duty to prescribed areas overseas for at least six months to finalise their personal affairs and make their farewells immediately before their departure from Australia. N It is granted subject to operational requirements. Time limits apply.
    17. Remote location leave
    18. Seagoing leave
    19. Short absence To rest and recover. To attend to urgent personal circumstances that a member would not be able to deal with in some other way because of Service requirements. Other types of leave are to be used first. N It is granted at commanders' discretion. It is not a formal leave type and does not accrue.
    20. Short absence for removal purposes To enable members to complete the variety of tasks associated with a removal. N It is granted at commanders' discretion. It is not a formal leave type and does not accrue.
    21. Short absence when not required for duty To technically cover absence when a member is not required for duty. This includes nights, weekends and stand-down hours. N It is granted at commanders' discretion. It is not a formal leave type and does not accrue.
    22. Short leave
    23. Special leave for private purposes To provide the specified members with a period of leave equal to a period of recreation leave credits that have expired. N It applies to the CDF, VCDF and Service Chiefs only.
    24. Trainee leave
    25. Travelling leave To enable eligible members to spend all the leave period granted at the leave destination, regardless of location. N It is granted on occurrence.
    26. War service leave To provide an additional leave benefit for members who were on warlike service, to allow them to adjust back to living in Australia and rest from the rigours of warlike service. Y War service leave is intended to be taken on return to Australia from warlike service. It must be taken before recreation leave.


Pay and conditions manual

Visit the Afghanistan Inquiry website for information and welfare support regarding The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force’s (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry.