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Category Human Resources
Type Policy
Approved by Staffing Advisory Committee, pre 2000
Date Policy Took Effect 1 January 2000
Last approved revision 26 August 2022
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration


The purpose of this policy is to define the criteria, conditions and application process for Conference Leave.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all academic staff.


Approval of Leave

  1. Any member of staff seeking leave to attend a conference or meeting must obtain approval from their Divisional Head (Deans in Health Sciences) on the recommendation of the Head of Department or Dean for the period of leave. Staff with clinical appointments must also obtain approval from the manager of their clinical service. Staff seeking Conference Leave will normally be expected to be taking an active part in the conference or meeting concerned, such as presenting a paper or poster, chairing a session or other designated function relating to the conference or the sponsoring organisation.
  2. Staff seeking Conference Leave will normally be expected to be taking an active part in the conference or meeting concerned, such as presenting a paper or poster, chairing a session or other designated function relating to the conference or the sponsoring organisation. This active participation can be in person, or online.
  3. Those approving Conference Leave must be satisfied that the following conditions have been considered:
    • That attendance in person (rather than online) is necessary, given the climate change impact of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel.
    • Where travel is deemed necessary, that opportunities to maximise the value of the travel have been fully explored to minimise the need for additional subsequent travel to the same location e.g. visits and relationship building beyond conference attendance.
    • Where on-campus duties such as teaching are a barrier to combining other activities into one trip, that conducting those activities online has been adequately explored.
  4. Conference Leave can also be applied to support attendance of online conferences or meetings from campus or home. For example, where a conference is taking place in a European time zone, conference leave can be authorised to enable attendance at the conference without any expectation that staff will be working on other tasks during regular working hours.
  5. The approved period of leave will normally be for the period of attendance at the conference or meeting, together with the minimal reasonable period for travel to and from the University. Any leave in excess of this minimum requires the approval of the Divisional Head (Deans in Health Sciences may approve up to 10 working days leave of absence). For academic staff in confirmed or confirmation-track appointments, leave beyond this minimum period will normally be taken as Extended Conference Leave as defined in the University's Research and Study Leave policy.
  6. Staff may include a period of annual leave combined with conference leave, subject to the approval of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Deans in Health Sciences may approve up to 10 days annual leave) upon recommendation of the Head of Department (and for clinical staff, that of their clinical service manager) and Dean.
  7. For joint clinical staff whose employment contracts make provision for continuing education leave, normally all conference leave will be accommodated within this provision.
  8. All leave in excess of two working weeks in a semester or examination period or any leave involving Extended Conference Leave, will require approval by the Divisional Head.
    Applications for approval of Conference Leave should normally be submitted to the head of department (and where relevant the clinical service manager) at least one month before the proposed departure date, and will normally state:
    • name and venue of conference/meeting
    • dates of conference (or proposed dates of attendance if different)
    • proposed inclusive dates of absence from the University
    • purpose of attendance at the conference or meeting (presentation etc.)
    • any outside financial support being provided if attendance is approved.
  9. Where an application for financial support is also being submitted (see below) the application must conform to Divisional/School/Departmental policy for such applications, and be submitted in accordance with closing dates set by the funding cost centre. Approval for leave does not guarantee funding support.

Additional Financial Support

  1. University funds may be used to support the attendance of staff or students at conferences or meetings, where it is deemed that such attendance would advance the objectives of the University.
  2. Such support will be given as a refund of the actual and reasonable costs of attendance, less any outside financial assistance available, up to a specified ceiling amount.
  3. All claims for refunds must be fully supported by receipts, and be approved by the person holding the delegated authority for this purpose per University Financial Delegation Policy.
  4. The allocation of travel and sustenance grants for Conference Leave requires the approval of the head of the cost centre (Department or School) or,where the conference travel fund is held centrally, that of the Dean or Divisional Head. The Division, School or Department (at whichever level the conference leave fund is administered) will be expected to have set an annual budget for this purpose, and have explicit guidelines for application dates, criteria for allocating funds between applicants, and level of support to be granted.


  1. Please contact your Divisional office (the Department or School Office in the Division of Health Sciences) to obtain a conference leave application.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Stephanie Evans
Human Resources Adviser, Promotions & Remuneration
Tel +64 3 479 8255

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