Policy Staff Study Assistance Procedure

Staff Study Assistance Procedure


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Intent

JCU is committed to encouraging eligible staff to undertake tertiary study by providing assistance to complete an award qualification at JCU.

Scope

This procedure applies to continuing and fixed-term staff members appointed for 12 months or more at JCU Australia.  It does not apply to casual staff or short-term academic visitors.

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure, the meaning of terms are as per the Human Resources Policy Glossary.

Procedure

1. Eligibility

1.1 Applicants will:

1.1.1 be employed on a continuing basis; or

1.1.2 be employed on a fixed term basis greater than 12 months’ duration

1.2 The application is for future study in an undergraduate bachelor level program, or any postgraduate coursework award (ie. Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or Masters).

1.3 The application is for study undertaken at JCU Australia Tropical Campuses (ATC), or online programs undertaken out of JCU ATC campuses (ie. excludes study at JCUS, JCUB and with Keypath).

1.4 The application must be submitted at least one month prior to the commencement of the relevant study period.  Retrospective approval will not be granted.

1.5 The applicant must be eligible for a Commonwealth-supported place. Refer Jobs Ready Graduate requirements for being a “genuine student” and having a satisfactory subject completion rate.

2. Categories of Study, including income tax implications

2.1  Courses of study are categorised under the following criteria to determine the level of study assistance offered to staff members, and also directly attribute to taxation obligations. A staff member's application must align to one of the two categories of study.

2.1.1 Category A applies where the course is directly related to the employees’ current position. This may be reflected in the Position Description and it would also be expected that the study requested would further contribute to the employee successfully performing at a high standard in most of aspects of the role.

2.1.2 Category B applies where the study course is only generally related to the specific employment of the staff member, or could be relevant to other positions at JCU and contributes to the continuing development of the staff member as an individual.

2.2 The category of study does not form part of the staff study assistance assessment criteria.

2.3 Both categories of study are subject to income tax.

2.4 Where an application for study is not directly relevant to a work area (Category B) the extent of the assistance provided will be determined on a case by case basis.

2.5 From 1 January 2022, all staff with approved staff study assistance will be offered a Commonwealth-supported place, even if they previously had been receiving staff study assistance studying under a Domestic Fee Paying place. That is, Staff Study Assistance will only be offered under Commonwealth-supported fee arrangements.

3. Financial Assistance

3.1  Staff Study Assistance may include payment of the Student Contribution Amount.

3.2 Study Assistance benefits (payments or study leave) will not be provided for repeat subjects.

3.3 A staff member holding a scholarship/award which provides payment of fees may only apply for Study Assistance Payment for fees not met by the scholarship/award.

3.4  The staff member is responsible for paying any/all other costs associated with the study program.

3.5  Financial assistance will only be reimbursed in line with Payment of Financial Assistance (Section 9).

3.6  The staff member will be required to repay financial assistance to JCU in line with Termination of Employment (Section 10).

3.7  The staff member who received approved Staff Study Assistance prior to 2018 for courses at another tertiary institution, will no longer be able to receive benefits under JCU's Staff Study Assistance program.

3.8  The staff member who received approved Staff Study Assistance prior to 2021 for courses at excluded JCU campuses, will no longer be able to receive benefits under JCU's Staff Study Assistance program.

4. Other Assistance – Leave

4.1  In addition to financial assistance, Staff Study Assistance may include support to take leave for class attendance, examinations or to undertake study, subject to the limits per each Category of Study.

4.1.1 Staff members should arrange study schedules that will not adversely affect their work commitments.

4.1.2 Any leave supported for this purpose will only be granted during a staff member’s ordinary hours of work.

4.1.3 For Category A study, a staff member may be granted Other Assistance – Leave, and that leave will be granted without loss of pay.

4.1.4 For Category B study, a staff member may be granted Other Assistance – Leave, in which case  the staff member will be required to access their leave accruals (e.g. annual leave, leave without pay) or request an individual flexibility arrangement to accommodate the time required to attend classes.

4.2  Leave for Examinations

 Category ACategory B
Leave assistance availableLeave for examinations may be granted, to cover the time necessary to sit the examination plus one half day for each unit undertaken, to be taken before the final examination.Staff may utilise their leave accruals (e.g. annual leave or leave without pay) to prepare and attend examinations.
How to applyEvidence, including a copy of the examination timetable, must be submitted to the supervisor at least two weeks before the examination. Leave required for examinations is required to be requested and approved prior to taking leave, and managed within the work unit.  All leave provided should only be granted if there are no adverse impacts to the work unit.Staff can submit a My HR Online leave request for use of any leave provisions.

4.3 Leave for Class Attendance

 Category ACategory B
Leave assistance available

Leave for class attendance may be granted to attend classes without loss of pay, subject to the following limits:

Up to 6 hours per week (pro rata); or,

no more than half the total hours required to attend classes during standard business hours.

Staff may utilise their leave accruals (e.g. annual leave or leave without pay) or request an individual flexibility arrangement to accommodate the remaining time required to attend classes.

Staff may utilise their leave accruals (e.g. annual leave or leave without pay) or request an individual flexibility arrangement to accommodate time required to attend classes.
How to apply

Evidence of class times and suggested schedule of proposed time off must be provided to the supervisor for approval.  Leave required for class attendance is required to be requested and approved, prior to leave taken, and managed within the work unit. All leave provided should only be granted if there are no adverse impacts to the work unit.

A My HR Online leave request can be submitted for any leave provisions.

Staff can submit a My HR Online leave request for use of any leave provisions.

4.4 Leave to Undertake Study

 Category ACategory B
Leave assistance available

Staff who do not access time off for class attendance or examinations may be granted paid time off to undertake study, up to a maximum of 35 hours per study period.

Where leave is not required for class attendance or examinations, staff can utilise their leave accruals (e.g. annual leave or leave without pay) or request an individual flexibility arrangement to accommodate time required to undertake study (up to 35 hours per study period)
How to apply

A schedule of proposed leave for the study period must be submitted to the supervisor for approval. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis, having consideration for operational requirements in the work unit. Leave to undertake study is required to be requested and approved prior to leave taken, and managed within the work unit. All leave provided should only be granted if there are no adverse impacts to the work unit.

Staff can submit a My HR Online leave request for use of any leave provisions.

5. Application Procedure

5.1  Applications for Staff Study Assistance must be requested through the prescribed application process, as amended from time to time annually, and include:

5.1.1 Confirmation of eligibility.

5.1.2 Full details of course/subjects intending to study.

5.1.3 Details of the financial assistance requested.

5.1.4 Details of the other assistance – leave requested, including consideration given to the impact of the staff member’s absence on day-to-day operations including client service and/or other staff in the work unit.

5.1.5 Relevance of the course of study to the staff member’s employment at JCU.

5.1.6 Self-assessment of the Category of Study.

5.2  The application must be forwarded to the supervisor at least one month prior to the commencement of study.

5.3 Upon receipt of approved Staff Study Assistance application, the staff member is to attach the approval form to their application for admission into a course.

5.4 Applications must be reviewed yearly by the supervisor, and may form part of the performance and development plan (PDP) discussions with the staff member as it relates to the continued eligibility, and the Staff Study Assistance granted.

6. Assessment and Criteria

6.1  The assessment of an application will be based on the following criteria:

6.1.1 Confirmation of eligibility.

6.1.2 The course of study is leading to an award.

6.1.3 Confirmation of course/subjects are undergraduate bachelor level or postgraduate coursework award (i.e., Graduate Certificate, graduate Diploma or Masters).

6.1.4 Confirmation that courses/subjects are for study at JCU Australian Tropical Campuses, or online out of Australian Tropical Campuses (i.e., excludes study at JCUS, JCUB and with Keypath).

6.1.5 Relevance of the course of study to the staff member’s employment at JCU.

6.1.6 Staff member’s performance.

6.1.7 Leave for examinations, class attendance and to undertake study can be accommodated without adversely affecting JCU operations including client service and/or other staff in the work unit.

6.2  Where a staff member commences a new role impacting the Staff Study Assistance approval, the staff members application must be re-assessed in consideration of the new role, which may result in a change of category of study, and/or changes to the Staff Study Assistance approved, or cessation of the Staff Study Assistance.

6.3  Staff Study Assistance approval is void where the staff member does not undertake at least 1 subject per calendar year.  Where the staff member is on extended leave (6 months or more) there will be no requirement to study during the period of the leave; however, study must resume within a 12 month period following the leave.

6.4  Study Assistance approval is void where the staff member ceases employment.

6.5 Staff Study Assistance approval is not guaranteed in subsequent years.

6.6  Role of the supervisor:

6.6.1 Assess the staff member’s application in line with the policy principles and criteria.

6.6.2 Assess the staff member’s application to determine whether the study is aligned to Category A or Category B.

6.6.3 Provide a recommendation to approve or reject the application for Staff Study Assistance to the Head of Work Unit.

6.7  Role of Head of Work Unit (e.g., Deans/Directors):

6.7.1 Approve or reject the application for Staff Study Assistance.

7. Assessment Outcome and Notification

7.1  The Head of Work Unit will ensure the staff member, and supervisor, are informed of the decision.

7.2 Where the application has been successful, this approval is valid for one calendar year only.

7.3 Where the application has not been successful, the staff member and the manager will be provided the reasons why the application was not approved.

8. Conditions for Commencement of Study or Continued Study

8.1 Where the staff member is commencing study, an application for Staff Study Assistance is approved by the Head of Work Unit, the staff member is to attach the approval form to their application for admission into a course.

8.2 Where the staff member is continuing study, their approved application is required to be provided to Student Finance and Scholarships to enable the staff member to be  enrolled as a Commonwealth-supported student, and may elect to defer the Student Contribution amount or pay the Student Contribution amount up-front.

8.3 Student Admissions will admit and/or enrol the staff member as a Commonwealth-supported student, and will apply an “in-house benefit” discount of 25% on the student contribution amount.

9. Payment of Financial Assistance

9.1  Requirements for seeking payment of financial assistance.

9.1.1 Financial assistance will only be made where the study is completed and a minimum pass grade is achieved, for subjects covered under the approved course.

9.1.2 A claim for financial assistance must be made at the end of each teaching period and should be made in the same year the expense was incurred by submitting a ServiceNow request within the Human Resources Catalog.

9.1.3 Financial assistance will not be paid if the claim is received more than 6 months after the grade/award is confirmed.

9.1.4 Financial assistance will be void, and therefore not be reimbursed, if the staff member’s employment is terminated.

9.2  Claiming reimbursement of Financial Assistance

9.2.1 The staff member should complete a Service Now request within the Human Resources Catalog, including:

  • A copy of their Student Fee Statement or Commonwealth Assistance Notice; and
  • Evidence confirming a minimum of a pass grade has been achieved (e.g. statement of results). Note, an official transcript is not required.

9.3  On approval by the staff member's manager, reimbursement will be made as follows:

Payment will be paid through the payroll system on successful completion of subjects. Payment to employees for course fees that attract a Student Contribution Amount will be subject to income tax in all cases.

9.4 Any tax incurred as a result of participation in Staff Study Assistance is the responsibility of the staff member. It is recommended the staff member seek their own tax/financial advice in relation to this matter.

10. Change or Termination of Employment

10.1 Where a staff member commences a new role impacting the Staff Study Assistance Approval, the staff member’s application must be reassessed in consideration of the new role. Reassessment may result in a change of category of study and/or changes to the assistance approved, or cessation of the Staff Study Assistance.

10.2 Where a staff member departs JCU without completing at least one year of service after the completion of any subjects which form part of the approved study course, then the staff member will be required to repay the amount of staff study assistance payments paid by JCU over the previous year.

10.3  If a staff member's employment ceases due to the expiry of their contract or JCU terminating their employment (other than on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance and/or misconduct), the condition of discharging their commitment to JCU will not apply.

10.4  Where a staff member departs JCU and wishes to continue their study, they will not be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place if the course does not offer Commonwealth Supported Places. In this event the staff member will be required to pay the Domestic Tuition Fee for any further unit of study.

11. Ending a Staff Study Assistance Arrangement

11.1 A staff member’s Staff Study Assistance arrangement can end for the following reasons:

11.1.1 Termination of employment

11.1.2 Staff member is no longer eligible and/or approval at any yearly review is not granted

11.1.3 Staff member has completed all subjects for the approved course

11.1.4 Staff member ceases or changes course

11.2 Upon ending Staff Study Assistance arrangement, notification will be sent to Human Resources and Student Services advising of the cessation of Staff Study Assistance.

11.3 No further leave assistance or financial assistance will be granted after Staff Study Assistance arrangement has ended.

11.4 Staff member will not be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place if the course does not offer Commonwealth Supported Places. In this event the staff member will be required to pay Domestic Tuition Fee for any further unit of study.

11.5 If staff member changes the enrolled course, a new Staff Study Assistance application form must be submitted detailing the new course and relevance. This new application will be assessed against the eligibility criteria.

Related policy instruments

Performance Development and Recognition Policy

Schedules/Appendices

Staff Study Assistance Application Form

Administration

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Human Resources

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources

Date for next review

02/12/2026

Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

22-324/08/202224/08/2022

Procedure updated to include PG C/W certificates to eligible courses, and the simplification of the process, including removing the requirement for approval of Director, HR, and offering all approved staff a Commonwealth-supported place.

Added information previously contained in the Staff Study Assistance Policy to enable disestablishment of same.

Director, Planning, Performance and Analytics
22-222/02/202222/02/2022Procedure amended to update section 2 to include postgraduate coursework study, missed in the review at 22-1Director, Planning Performance and Analytics

22-1

02/12/2021

1/1/2022

Procedure amended to reinstate PG C/W study, and to specify that study to be undertaken at Australian Tropical Campuses only (ie. exclude JCUS, JCUB and Keypath) as CSP students

Director, Planning Performance and Analytics

18-2

30/07/2018

30/07/2018

Minor amendment to direct staff to apply for reimbursement of Financial Assistance through Service Now.

Deputy Director, Human Resources

18-1

07/02/2018

19/02/2018

Amended to clearly state criteria includes undergraduate study at JCU only.

 

15-1

18 /12/ 2015

21/12/2015

  • Renaming of Policy
  • Update to align with JCU’s policy framework   and the JCU Enterprise Agreement 2013 – 2016.
  • Alignment of titles to the JCU structure.
  • Refinement of Definitions.
  • Separation of definitions for leave based   assistance.
  • Clarity of study assistance elements
  • Inclusion of clauses to support enacting the   procedure.

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Keywords

Staff Study Assistance, Study Assistance, Staff Study, Development, Staff Development

Contact person

Manager, Industrial Relations and Policy