Policy and Guidelines for Religious Observance
An employee may be granted leave without pay for observance of recognised religious festivals or feast days. Leave is not normally granted for participation in pilgrimages or religious conventions.
It is advisable for each employee to make 1 application for their total leave requirements for a calendar year.
Leave in excess of 5 days in a calendar year would not normally be approved, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Previously, leave without pay in excess of 5 days in a calendar year has been granted as follows:
- Judaism — followers are entitled to a maximum of 13 days leave without pay per calendar year, but leave is not granted to prepare for feasts
- Worldwide Church of God — followers are entitled to leave for the Old Testament holidays as observed by followers of Judaism. Leave to travel to and from a festival site may be granted. However, the employee must attend the closest festival site. Reasonable time for travel by car is permitted. Employees are required to submit evidence to support any request for the inclusion of travelling time in the period of leave
Where an employee wishes to take leave for more than 5 days other than as set out above, an application must be made setting out the circumstances.
Each application for leave should state that the employee is a practising member of a specific faith, the name of the festival(s) or holy day(s) for which leave is desired and the relevant date(s). If travelling time is desired, evidence to support the case must be submitted.
Leave without pay granted for religious purposes does not count as service, with the exception of calculating salary loading allowance for teaching service employees.
Reviewed 25 March 2020