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Category Human Resources
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Date Policy Took Effect 3 April 2023
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Director, Human Resources
Responsible officer HR Manager, Promotions and Remuneration


The University is committed to valuing and rewarding its employees and to promoting a healthy work/life balance by having flexible working arrangements and schemes in place. In particular, there may be instances where an employee requires periods away from work in addition to the normal leave entitlement. This policy provides a framework for the purchasing and management of Additional Leave.

Organisational scope

All staff employed by the University of Otago for twelve months or more, excluding casual and student employees.


Staff Member
The person purchasing the Additional Leave.
Additional Leave
Paid time on leave, purchased under this policy.
Accrued leave
Leave accrued as the year progresses.
Annual Leave
Annual leave entitlement provided by the Holidays Act 2003.
Commencement fortnight
The first pay fortnight from which a purchase of Additional Leave is made.
Head of Department or School or Dean or Manager.
Equal to a staff member's normal working week.


  1. Approval and administrative process

    The management delegations and administrative process for requesting, approving, recording and amending Additional Leave will be the same as for Annual Leave. Additional Leave will be recorded in the Staff Web Kiosk unless alternative arrangements have been agreed.

  2. Purchasing Additional Leave

    1. Subject to prior approval, staff can purchase Additional Leave via deduction from their fortnightly pay in one-week blocks.
    2. A maximum of 5 one-week blocks can be purchased in any 12-month period.
    3. Each 12-month period starts from the commencement fortnight.
    4. Where a staff member holds more than one appointment, they must submit a separate application for each appointment.
    5. Heads considering applications for purchasing Additional Leave will apply the same considerations that apply for Annual Leave approvals including consideration of the operational requirements of their area and the requirements of any external agencies such as Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.
    6. Deductions from salary for Additional Leave will commence in the first available pay period after approval.
    7. Additional Leave will be available to take after it is has accrued. e.g. if you have paid for a day then you can use that day.
    8. Additional Leave will accrue daily, based on standard hours worked. The calculation of the Additional Leave deduction is based on 26 fortnights and/or a 365-day year.  It includes variations in employment conditions including changes to salary, hours, and FTE .
    9. Staff and Heads are expected to maintain Additional Leave balances below 5 weeks at any point in time.
  3. Approving Additional Leave

    1. Heads considering requests to take Additional Leave must ensure that staff in their area have sufficient opportunity to take all their leave.
    2. Additional Leave can be utilised in addition to other paid leave options such as Annual Leave or Long Service Leave.
  4. Taking Additional Leave

    1. Additional Leave taken will be paid at an employee's normal pay rate current at the time taken.
    2. With approval, accrued Additional Leave can be taken at any point after the first Commencement Fortnight (and first deduction) has been completed.
    3. Where the Staff Member or a person dependent on them becomes sick, or bereavement occurs when the Staff Member is on Additional Leave, then the approver will permit the period of sickness to be debited against their sick leave entitlement, and the period of bereavement to be debited against their bereavement leave entitlement, as the case may be, provided a medical certificate is produced for the sick leave. Additional Leave recommences once the sick leave or the bereavement leave period is over, provided it was within the timeframes for which Additional Leave was originally sought.

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 your designated Human Resources Manager or Adviser.

Divisional HR support

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