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Religious and Cultural Observance Guideline

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Guideline is intended to assist the University to maintain a working environment which enables employees to observe and attend to religious and/or cultural activities/duties.

(2) This Guideline applies to all continuing, research (contingent funded), fixed-term and casual employees covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

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Section 2 - Guideline Statement 

(3) Many religions, faiths and cultures observe occasions of spiritual or cultural significance. There may also be occasions where staff request to observe occasions of spiritual or cultural significance which are not pre-planned and can occur at short notice. Supervisors of staff should be mindful of their obligations with respect to the prevention of discrimination contained in relevant state and commonwealth legislation referred to in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Behaviours Policy.

(4) The University is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion and to maintaining an environment which, wherever possible, facilitates reasonable staff participation in religious or cultural duties/activities.

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Section 3 - Accessing Leave Entitlements

Existing Leave Accruals 

(5) An employee may request to use existing Annual Leave, Long Service Leave and, if appropriate Personal/Carer’s Leave entitlements for the purpose of attending to religious or cultural duties/activities associated with a particular religion, faith or culture.

(6) Eligible employees should follow the normal leave application process by making the request for leave to the Authorised Officer in accordance with the provisions of the Leave Entitlements Policy and relevant leave procedure.

(7) An employee should make the leave request as far in advance as reasonably practicable taking into account the circumstances surrounding the request and the requirements of the applicable leave procedure.

(8) When an employee’s request for leave for the purpose of attending to religious or cultural duties/activities is made at short notice due to extenuating circumstances, the leave request should not be unreasonably refused. In this circumstance the Authorised Officer may request the employee to provide details of the essential nature of the religious or cultural duties to which the employee must attend.

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Section 4 -  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms 

Terms Definitions
Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026, or as amended or replaced.