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Division 7: Administration and payment for recreation leave

5.4.30 Purpose

This Division sets out how recreation leave may expire or be re-credited. It also provides other recreation leave administration rules.

See: Division 8, Payment or transfer of recreation leave credit

5.4.31 Conditions of granting of leave

  1. A member must not be granted recreation leave if they do not hold enough leave credit for the period of the absence.

  2. There are time limits for taking leave credits.

    See: Section 5.4.34, Expiration of recreation leave credits ('leave lapsing')

  3. Leave can only be granted for the following periods.

    1. Whole days of a single leave type.

    2. Whole days made up of a part-day of recreation leave credit and a part-day of war service leave credit.

    3. For a member on a flexible service determination – for the days of the member's pattern of service.

  4. A senior officer who transitioned may be granted no more than a total of two weeks of recreation leave during their transition period.

5.4.32 Recreation leave management

  1. As part of their responsibility to manage leave, commanding officers must take all practical steps to do both the following.

    1. Identify times when operational requirements would allow members to apply for and be granted leave.

    2. Inform members of these opportunities.

  2. Commanding officers must consider the merits of each application from a member to use their recreation leave credits.

5.4.33 Grant of recreation leave

  1. A supervisor in the member's chain of command may grant recreation leave in accordance with the following.

    1. If the member is on a flexible service determination and the pattern of service for the leave day is less than 8 hours — leave is granted for the period of the duty specified in the member's flexible service determination for that day.

    2. If the recreation leave credit is less than a full day and is taken with another type of leave credit to make a full day — leave is granted for the period of recreation leave credit that is less than 1 day.

    3. In all other cases — leave is granted for whole days.

  2. For the purposes of subsection 1, a supervisor must be at one of the following ranks or higher.

    1. Warrant Officer Class 2.

    2. APS 4.

  3. ...
  4. If a member has a part-day of recreation leave credit and a part day of war service leave credit that total at least one full day of leave, the following actions may be taken.

    1. The member may apply to take a part-day of war service leave and a part-day of recreation leave, that form a combined total of one day of leave.

    2. The member may keep any remaining part-day of leave credit that exceeds the total of one day as credit for future use.

    3. Related information: Part 8, War service leave

5.4.33A Leave credits

  1. A member's leave credits are reduced by the number of days for which recreation leave is granted.

  2. Note: This may include a part day.

  3. A grant of recreation leave reduces a member's combined recreation and war service leave credit balances in the following order.

  4. Order of leave
    Item Leave type
    1. War service leave credits.
    See: Part 8 subsection, War service leave and other leave.
    2. Purchased recreation leave credits.
    See: Division 5, Purchased recreation leave
    3. Recreation leave credits, including extra recreation leave, additional recreation leave, and basic recreation leave.

5.4.34 Expiration of recreation leave credits ('leave lapsing')

  1. A member’s leave lapses in accordance with the following table, but not before the last pay day of the leave year commencing 1 July 2018.

  2. Leave lapsing
    Item Leave Expiration time
    1. For leave that accrued up to 30 June 2016 Recreation leave expires three years after the end of the leave year in which the member accrued it.
    2. For leave that accrues on or after 1 July 2016 If a recreation leave credit that is more than 90 days on the lapsing date, then the amount of recreation leave credit that exceeds 90 days expires on the lapsing date. The lapsing date is the last payday before 30 June in the relevant year.
  3. The CDF may defer the expiration of the member's leave credit by an additional year. The CDF must be satisfied that leave could not be granted because the Commanding Officer needed the member to stay on duty to meet Service needs during the previous three years.

  4. The CDF may defer the expiration of the credit for a member more than once.

    Example: The CDF has deferred a member's leave credit once, but the member has to deploy immediately because their special skills are needed for an operation. They cannot take any recreation leave in the following year because of their duty in the operation. In this case, they can ask the CDF to delay the expiration of their leave credit again. However, the rules about payment or transfer instead of leave would still apply to the accrued leave credit – see Division 8, Payment or transfer of recreation leave credit.

  5. For the purposes of this section, decisions about the CDF's own recreation leave may be made by the Minister.

  6. A member who holds a statutory appointment and who applies to have their recreation leave credit deferred and treated as recreation leave under this Part, is not eligible to have the leave credited as special leave under Part 9 Division 4, Special leave for private purposes.

    Note: Part 9 Division 4 only applies to the CDF, the VCDF and Service Chiefs.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection and subsection on behalf of the CDF:
Director General Navy People
Director General Army People Capability
Director General Personnel – Air Force

5.4.35 Re-credit of recreation leave

  1. A member may be re-credited a period of recreation leave if they meet all these conditions.

    1. They go on recreation leave.

    2. Illness or injury has made them unfit for duty for at least 24 hours during the leave period.

    3. They provide a doctor's certificate stating they were unfit for duty for the period of illness or injury.

    Example: A member is on recreation leave and gets influenza. The doctor advises they are unfit for duty for three days. The member can be re-credited the working days that fall in that three-day period.

    Non-example 1: A member attends a medical appointment to get a prescription refilled while on leave. This takes much less than 24 hours, and in that time the member is not unfit for duty. The member is not eligible to have their recreation leave re-credited.

    Non-example 2: A member attends a fitness assessment while on leave. They are not ill, are not formally recalled from leave, and attend for only a short period. The member is not eligible to have their recreation leave re-credited.

  2. A member on recreation leave may be re-credited any day's leave that was granted which they did not take if either of the following happens.

    1. They are formally recalled to duty from the leave for operational reasons, for not less than one day.

    2. The member wishes to return to duty early. Management accepts the return to duty.

      ba. They are required to isolate themself on return to Australia.

      Note: The member's unit must pay the costs of any recall to duty.

      See: Part 13, Cancellation of, or recall from, leave

    3. They die.

    Example 1: A member is recalled to duty for operational reasons. They are re-credited the recreation leave they did not take between the formal recall and the end of the leave period they would otherwise have taken.

    Example 2: A member dies two weeks before they were due to return to duty from recreation leave. The two weeks of leave are re-credited so the member's entitlements can be paid to their estate.

    See: Chapter 11 Part 3, Payment of financial entitlements on death

5.4.36 Salary for recreation leave

  1. A member on recreation leave is paid salary at the rate that applies for their substantive rank, and their pay grade if it applies.

  2. A member may hold a temporary or acting rank immediately before their start date. In this case, they are paid salary on leave at the rate for the higher rank, and their pay grade if it applies. The direction to perform at the higher rank must not have been revoked for the period the member is on leave.

  3. Special arrangements apply to the payment of higher duties allowance on recreation leave.

    See: Chapter 4 Part 1 Division 3 section 4.1.33, Member on leave

  4. In addition to subsection 1, a senior officer who transitioned is to be paid an amount calculated using the following formula for each day of recreation leave paid.

  5. amount payable = A - B


    A is the daily rate of salary that applied to the senior officer immediately before becoming a senior officer who transitioned.

    B is the daily rate of salary that applies to the senior officer during the transition period.

5.4.37 Payment of allowances on recreation leave

  1. If a member is eligible for payment of any annual allowance under DFRT Determination No. 11 of 2013, ADF Allowances, and section 5.1.2A before they start their leave, they are eligible to be paid the relevant allowances during their leave.

  2. See: Part 1 section 5.1.2A, Salary and allowances during leave

  3. If a member was eligible for an allowance under section 5.1.2A for a period before, but not on, their last day of duty before commencing leave, they may be eligible for the allowance if they meet any of these criteria for the period between their previous benefit and the start date.

    1. They were on travelling leave.

    2. They were ill or in hospital.

    3. They could not take recreation leave because they had to remain on duty.

    4. For an officer — they were involved in retirement proceedings that resulted in their retirement from the ADF because they were physically or mentally incapacitated.

    5. For a member other than an officer — they were involved in discharge proceedings that resulted in their discharge from the ADF because they were medically unfit.

  4. ...

  5. On any day that an amount of allowance under either DFRT Determination No. 11 of 2013, ADF Allowances, or this determination is included in a member's salary, the member is not to be paid that allowance amount under this section.

    Authority: A member's salary is determined under section 58H of the Defence Act 1903.

5.4.38 Member seconded or attached for duty

  1. This section applies to a member who is seconded or attached for a period of duty with any of these bodies.

    1. The armed forces of a country other than Australia.

    2. The United Nations.

    3. Exception: A member who is subject to the rules under Chapter 12 Part 4 Division 2, Member remunerated by the ADF.

    4. A treaty organisation.

    5. A Commonwealth Government department (other than the Department of Defence).

    6. Any other body established or constituted under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory. This does not include an external Territory.

      Example: A member who is placed for a period as a resident medical officer at a civilian hospital.

  2. The member must accept the recreation leave entitlement authorised by the body they have been seconded or attached to for their period of duty with it. The member is not entitled to recreation leave under this Part for that period, except as provided by subsection 3.

  3. The body may give the member less recreation leave credit or additional credit than they would get if they were entitled to credit under this Part. In that case, they are entitled to an additional leave credit to bring them up to the entitlement that would have applied to them under this Part, as if the period of secondment or attachment had been service with the ADF.

5.4.39 How to apply for leave

A member must use the approved form to apply for leave.

Note: The approved forms are as as follows.
1. PMKeYS.
2. If PMKeYS is not avaliable, form AD097 - ADF Absence Application/Non-effective Service Notification.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.


  • AD097 - ADF Absence Application/Non-effective Service Notification
  • Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

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