48/52 working arrangements

48/52 weeks per year working arrangements defined

The 48/52 weeks per year working arrangements (48/52) is a scheme under which a full-time academic or professional employee may work 44 weeks of a negotiated 12 month period. An employee participating in the 48/52 scheme has effectively had four weeks leave without pay approved but rather than lose the value of the four weeks salary in one period, the employee has obtained approval to spread the salary impact of four weeks leave without pay over 26 pay periods.

Conditions of the 48/52 weeks per year working arrangements

Entitlement and arrangements

1.   All full-time continuing and fixed term employees are eligible to apply to their Dean, Director, Manager or other delegated officer for approval to take up to eight (8) weeks annual leave in a year and receive 48 weeks salary, which would be payable over the full 52 weeks.  Application and approval must be in writing using the Flexible Work Arrangements form and is subject to:

  • agreement between the supervisor and the employee,
  • the needs of the area, and 
  • the employee having at least 12 months future service available.

Once approved, such arrangements will commence at a mutually agreed time and remain in place for a period of 12 months.

2.   Under this arrangement an employee will become a fractional employee at 48/52 of a full time work load, with all benefits accruing on that basis.

Annual leave

3.   Employees electing to move to these arrangements will be subject to normal arrangements in respect to the rate of accrual of annual leave.  Annual leave will accrue at the rate of 20 days for each year of service.

4.    An Absence Request Form for the employee's 'normal' 20 days annual leave must be submitted with the 48/52 Weeks Per Year Working Arrangements Authority Form.  Under these arrangements a professional employee is required to apply and avail themselves of their 'normal' 20 days annual leave via the University's usual leave procedures within the 12 month period.  The additional 20 days annual leave that the employee will be eligible for under 48/52 will also need to be applied for using an Absence Request Form, and will be deemed to have been taken and administered within the employee's cost centre.  In taking leave in any one year, it will not be necessary for eight weeks leave to be taken in one block, but this could be an option available to the employee

5.   Annual Leave accrued prior to the commencement of 48/52 is not available to be taken during the period of 48/52.  This annual leave will be 'frozen' and will be available for use when the employee ceases 48/52 and returns to normal working arrangements.

Long service leave / sick leave

6.   Employees availing themselves of this option will retain benefits accrued on a full-time or fractional time basis up to the nominated commencement date.  Long service leave and sick leave benefits accrued after this nominated date will be at the new fractional rate.

When leave may be taken

7.    The eight weeks leave must be taken within its agreed 12 month period.

8.    It will be necessary for the employee and supervisor to agree on the time of taking leave as early as possible upon entering into these arrangements.  If agreement cannot be reached the taking of leave will be at the discretion of the delegated officer who shall have regard to organisational requirements.

Review of arrangements

9.   The 48/52 arrangements will be reviewed on an annual basis by the employee's work area. Towards the end of every 12 month period, the employee may choose to revert back to normal full-time arrangements.  The employee is required to utilise any unused annual leave accrued under the 48/52 arrangements before reverting back to normal full-time arrangement.

Termination of employment

10.    An employee who terminates their services whilst on these arrangements will be paid for the unexpired period of leave at the appropriate fractional rate based on the credit accrued. Where entitlements have accrued at the full-time rate any termination payments will be made at the full time rate.

Reallocation of workloads

11.  Where an employee converts to a 48/52 scheme, the supervisor will ensure that any reallocation of workloads is the subject of consultation with affected employees and does not create an unreasonable workload for any other employee


12.  Where an employee elects to take up the 48/52 option, superannuation contributions for the employee and the University will reduce on a pro-rata basis, except where the employee chooses to maintain, subject to the requirements of the relevant superannuation scheme, the employee and/or employer's superannuation contributions on a full-time employment basis, but the University shall only be obliged to cover the cost of employer contributions at the 48/52 rate.

Specific guidelines to follow in applying for the 48/52 weeks per year working arrangements 

Step 1       

Read the information on this 48/52 Weeks Per Year Working Arrangements web site.

Step 2

Consult with your Director/Dean/Manager/Supervisor about your work area's requirements and whether this mode of employment is a feasible option.


Approval of an employee participating in the 48/52 scheme is at the sole discretion of the University.

Step 3

After consultation with your Director/Dean/Manager/Supervisor send the completed and signed 48/52 Weeks Per Year Working Arrangements Authority Form (DOC 97KB) to Human Resources, 4th Floor, S Block along with a completed Absence Request Form for the 'normal' 20 days annual leave.

Step 4

Human Resources will process the 48/52 Weeks Per Year Working Arrangements Authority Form and the original will be kept on your personal file.

Further information

Policy information
Janelle Martin

Payroll information
Andrew Williams