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Division 4: Short absence – supervision of children

5.11.16 Purpose

The purpose of this Division is to enable a member to take a short absence from duty to supervise their child due to the implementation of COVID-19 control measures as advised by Commonwealth, State or Territory health authorities.

5.11.16A Definitions

For the purpose of this Division the following apply.

COVID-19 control measure means a measure taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 issued by the Commonwealth government or a State or Territory government however described.

Note: A measure may be issued for example, in the form of guidance, a public health order or directive.

5.11.17 Member this Division applies to

This Division applies to a member who has a dependant who is a child and who attends one of the following.

  1. A secondary school.

  2. A primary school.

  3. A pre-school.

  4. A kindergarten.

  5. A child care provider.

5.11.18 Short absence from duty – school and child care attendance

  1. Subject to subsections 2, 4 and 5, a member is eligible for short absence from duty for an approved period if both the following apply.

    1. The dependant is unable to attend their school, kindergarten or child care provider because of a COVID-19 control measure.

    2. Note: This does not include a period the child would not have otherwise attended school, such as school holidays.

    3. The member must supervise the dependant.

  2. An approved period is one of the following, but must not be longer than the duration of the dependant’s inability to attend their school, kindergarten or child care provider because of COVID-19 control measure.

    1. A period approved by the member’s Commanding Officer that is less than a total of 28 days.

    2. A greater period approved by a decision maker that is up to the duration of the closure.

    3. Note: See subsection 6 for a list of decision makers.

  3. In approving a period of short absence from duty, the decision maker must consider the following.

    1. The duration of the closure.

    2. The member’s ability to find alternative supervisory arrangements.

  4. If a member is able to perform duty at the place where they are supervising the dependant having regard to the age and welfare of the child, the member is not eligible for a short absence from duty for that period.

    Note: Commanding Officers should work with members to establish suitable work from home arrangements if possible.

  5. If the member has a partner or spouse who is eligible for the same benefit or a similar benefit for the same purpose, the member is not eligible for short absence leave under this section at the same time the spouse or partner is receiving the same benefit or a similar benefit.

  6. For the purpose of paragraph 2.b, the decision maker is a person holding, or performing the duties of, one of the following positions.

    1. For a member in the Navy, one of the following.

      1. Director General Navy People.

      2. Director Navy Recruiting, Retention and Transitions.

      3. Deputy Director Navy Employment Conditions.

    2. For a member in the Army, one of the following.

      1. Director General Army People Capability.

      2. Director Personnel Policy – Army.

      3. Staff Officer Grade 1 – Personnel Policy – Army.

    3. For a member in the Air Force, one of the following.

      1. Director General Personnel – Air Force.

      2. Director Personnel Policy – Air Force.

      3. Deputy Director Personnel Policy – Air Force.

      4. Deputy Director Service Conditions – Air Force.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



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