Leave for Defence Reserve Service

An employee is entitled to leave for defence reserve service for a maximum continuous period of 78 weeks.

Under the Commonwealth Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001, an employee must not be hindered or prevented from volunteering to render and/or rendering defence service. 

An employee will consult with their manager/principal regarding the timing of the defence service and give the manager/principal as much notice as is possible of the time when the service will take place.

Where the base salary, excluding allowances, received by the employee from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in respect of defence service during their ordinary hours of work is below the employee's substantive salary, the employee will, unless exceptional circumstances arise, be paid make-up pay, up to the employee's substantive salary for the period of defence service. In the event of a change to the pay an employee receives from the ADF or defence reserve service whilst on defence reserve leave, the employee must notify their manager/principal as soon as practicable.

An employee who is required to complete defence service in excess of the maximum of 78 continuous weeks may request other forms of leave to be used in conjunction with any approved defence Reserve leave entitlement to cover the required period of absence.

Leave for defence reserve service will count as service for all purposes.

For Victorian Public Service employees in employment prior to 9 May 2002, any more favourable provision relating to their previous entitlement to Defence Force leave is maintained.

Other Resources

Further Information

For Victorian Public Service (VPS) employees

Procedures & Forms

The following applies in relation to applying for leave:

  • Applications for leave should be submitted through Employee Self Service (ESS).  Select the following link for more information ESS eduPay
  • An application will need to be made in writing where an employee is unable to access or use ESS.
  • Defence Reserve Leave Administration Procedures  (WORD)   


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Contact Information