AEU Member Resources

Breaks and Leave

Employees are entitled to an unpaid lunch/meal break of not less than 30 minutes and not more than 1 hour between   12 – 2.00pm.

Although not written into the TasTAFE Teaching Staff Agreement you are also able to take time for 10 – 15-minute tea breaks in the morning and afternoon, as an unpaid break. This can be during paid time, but there is no guaranteed entitlement.

If you commenced employment after 1 July 2022 then you are entitled to two paid 10-minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea, in addition to a 30 minute unpaid lunch break.

Tea breaks should not be included in hours for Direct Learning load. The teaching load is an average of 19 hours per week but can be delivered up to 23 hours per week for 3 consecutive weeks or up to 21 hours for 17 consecutive weeks, with the annual teaching load of 760 hours.

All staff should ensure they take breaks and not keep working because of ‘too much to do’.  Staff are not required and should not attend staff meetings during their lunch breaks. Getting up and away from the desk, giving your eyes a rest from a computer screen and moving about, are important to you as well as to your employer for WHS reasons.

Leave – what types am I entitled to?

Leave entitlements are generally provided on a pro-rata basis.

Personal Leave (includes Sick Leave and Carers’ Leave)

permanent fulltime employees have 20 days for the first year of service and 10 days for each subsequent year. You may be also granted an additional paid period not exceeding 20 days if you have exhausted all of your personal leave, this additional leave is discretionary and not a guaranteed entitlement.

A medical certificate or statutory declaration will be required to access personal leave for a period of three or more consecutive days, or after you have taken an aggregate of five working days without a medical certificate or statutory declaration in a year.

Parental Leave

includes maternity, paternity and adoption leave. This consists of 16 weeks paid maternity/adoption leave after 12 months service and up to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave. Partner leave consists of 3 weeks paid leave and access to two weeks of accrued recreation leave, long service leave or leave without pay.

For more information see our fact sheet on Parental Leave

Compassionate and Bereavement Leave

this consists of up to 10 days paid leave which is accessible when an immediate family member or member of your household has a life-threatening illness and/or dies.

For permanent & fixed term employees, may be able to access additional paid compassionate and bereavement leave at the discretion of the employer.

Sessional employees are entitled to compassionate, and bereavement leave with pay, pro-rata in proportion to sessions worked.

Recreation Leave

teaching employees are entitled up to up to 20 days of compulsory leave plus 35 days of non-attendance time leave (total of 11 weeks). 17 days compulsory leave must be taken from 24/12 and three days after Easter Tuesday. Non-attendance time leave must be taken in the year it accrues and ordinarily cannot be carried forward. Non-teaching staff are entitled to 20 days per year, which shall include the period between Christmas and New Years Day.

If you commenced employment after 1 July 2022 as a teacher then you will be entitled to a total of 10 weeks recreational leave including 20 days of compulsory leave.

Family Violence Leave

Family violence leave may be accessed to attend medical/counselling/legal/financial appointments, organise safe housing/child care/educational services, maintain support networks, or undertake other related activities.

An employee is entitled to 10 days of family violence leave, the employer may approve additional leave at their discretion. An employee will also be able to access personal leave.

Other Leave  

Public Holidays, Defence Force Leave, Jury Service, Special Leave and Long Service Leave.

If you have been employed after 1 July 2022 some of your leave entitlements may differ, please contact us if you are unsure of your entitlements.

If you have any questions about accessing leave, please contact us at

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