Should I approve cultural leave for a certain event?

If a staff member has articulated why that event is significant to them (in writing) and met the notice requirement in the ANU Enterprise Agreement 2023 - 2026 (EA), than managers are encouraged to support and approve cultural leave.

A staff member is having a family dinner to celebrate an event, should I approve the leave?

If the staff member has articulated why the event is significant and that they traditionally celebrate this event with a family dinner, then yes, supervisors are encouraged to support cultural leave. Some cultural events require significant food preparation and it is appropriate to approve leave to prepare for and attend a dinner.

A staff member has requested cultural leave for a non-religious event, should I approve this?

The EA allows for cultural leave for the purpose of attending essential religious or cultural obligations associated with the staff member's particular religious faith, culture or tradition. If an event is significant to an individual where such leave is connected to their identity, their community and where denying such leave would limit feelings of inclusion, psychological safety at work (as in a perception that an individual feels judgement and cannot be their whole self at work), tenure and ultimately the reputation of ANU, then supervisors are encouraged to approve cultural leave for such events.

What if I receive a significant number of cultural leave requests? Can I deny this on operational grounds?

Staff usually request cultural leave for days that are particularly significant to them. For instance, staff identifying to a particular religion will usually request specific days from their relevant calendar (for instance, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Islamic). Such days are usually significant to their region of birth, family, community etc. Managers are encouraged to understand which days are significant to their staff and approve cultural leave for these events. Understanding leave requirements early in the year will help teams manage operational requirements. Cultural leave is usually taken in instances of one or two days and supervisors are encouraged to manage operational requirements around cultural leave requests.

What documentation is required for a cultural leave application?

Significant events are recognised and celebrated differently for each individual. Documentation should therefore be flexible to individual needs. For instance, it could be a pamphlet, itinerary, order of service or an email from the staff member explaining the significance of the event and how it will be or is traditionally observed or celebrated by the individual.