Leave Of Absence Questions

Leave of Absence

1. Are casual employees eligible for personal leave, carers leave, & compassionate leave?

Casual employees are eligible for unpaid (but not paid) personal leave, carers leave, and compassionate leave.

2. Can an employee take Annual Leave at any time?

You need to reach an agreement with your employer regarding when you can take annual leave. An employee should never book, plan or pay for a trip until they have had their annual leave request formally approved.

3. Can you dismiss an employee who is on personal/carers leave?

Dismissing an employee because of a temporary absence due to illness or injury is unlawful under the Fair Work Act 2009 – please seek advice from HR Central prior to taking any action.

4. How much notice does an employee need to give their employer in order to take personal leave?

An employee is required to give notice as soon as reasonably practicable (which may be after the leave has started in an unexpected emergency) of their intention to take personal/carers leave. The employee must also advise their manager of the expected duration of the leave when giving this notice.

5. Is there any entitlement to unpaid personal/carers leave?

An employee who has taken all their paid leave entitlement may take an extra two days’ unpaid carers leave on each occasion it is needed.

6. What happens if an employee runs out of personal/carers leave?

Subject to the appropriate notification and documentation, they are entitled to unpaid carers leave once they have run out of paid personal/carers leave.

7. What is the minimum entitlement to paid compassionate leave?

The minimum entitlement to paid personal/carers leave is two days’ leave per year.

8. Who are ‘immediate family’ and ‘household members’ – what is the difference?

Immediate family refers to: a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or team member’s sibling; as well as a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the team member’s spouse or de facto partner. A household member is any person who lives with the employee.

9. Who is eligible for Parental Leave?

All employees in Australia are entitled to parental leave. Employees are able to take parental leave if they: * have worked for their employer for at least 12 months: #before the date or expected date of birth if the employee is pregnant #before the date of the adoption, or when the leave starts (if the leave is taken after another person cares for the child or takes parental leave) * have or will have responsibility for the care of a child.

Compassionate Leave

1. What is compassionate leave?

This is leave where you can take time off for the death or serious injury/illness of an immediate family member or household member.

2. Is this the same as the old bereavement leave?

Yes, although it has been updated.

3. How much compassionate leave am I allowed?

You are entitled to 2 days for each immediate family member or household member.

4. Does compassionate leave accumulate each year?

No, it does not carry over at the end of each year.

5. I am a casual, do I get paid Compassionate Leave?

No, you are entitled to the time off, but it will be unpaid.

6. If I am on annual leave, can I use compassionate leave if the circumstance arises?

Yes, you can but you may need to provide evidence to your employer. This will need to be discussed with your employer on a case by case basis.

7. How can I take compassionate leave?

You can take the leave as 2 continuous days or 2 single days. You can also take it by agreement with your employer for other periods.

Carers Leave

1. What is carers leave?

Carers leave allows you to take time off to assist a sick/injured household member or immediate family member.

2. What is a household member?

Anyone who lives in the same household as the employee.

3. What is an immediate family member?

This is a spouse, child, defacto, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of you or your spouse.

4. Is carers leave paid?

Yes, it will be paid out of your personal / sick leave balance.

5. How do I calculate my leave entitlements if I am part-time?

Use Fair Work’s leave calculator – https://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/leave

Annual Leave

1. How much annual leave am I entitled to as an employee?

All permanent full time employees are entitled to 20 days paid leave per year. Permanent part time employees are entitled to a portion of the 20 days leave, dependent on how many hours they work. Casual employees are not entitled to annual leave.

2. When does annual leave begin to accrue?

Annual leave accrues from the first day of employment.

3. Do an Employee and Manager have to agree on when an employee takes leave?

It is generally up to you both to find a suitable time for the leave to be taken, unless stated in your policy document that there are times you cannot take leave or must take leave. Otherwise, an Employer should not unreasonably withhold approval when an employee applies for leave.

4. Does my annual leave carry over at the end of the year if I don’t use it?

Any unused annual leave will carry over to the next year .

5. Can I get paid out my Annual leave?

Yes, but only under specific circumstances: (a) if it is in your agreement or award (b) if you are not employed under an award, you agree in writing and retain at least 4 weeks leave accrual. This can be quite complicated and case-specific so we recommend you contact your HR Manager for advice.

6. Does annual leave still accrue while I am on leave?

If you are on annual leave, you will continue to accrue more annual leave. During unpaid leave, your annual leave does not continue to accrue.

7. If I get sick during my annual leave, can I claim sick leave?

Only by agreement between you and your employer, unless it is stated in your Award or Agreement. You would also need to produce some medical evidence of your illness.

Personal (Sick Leave)

1. What is personal leave?

It is another name for sick leave.

2. When can I take personal leave as an employee?

When you are ill or injured.

3. Can I use personal leave if a family member is sick at home ?

Yes, this is when Personal Leave becomes Carers Leave.

4. Does my unused leave carry over to the next year ?

Any unused personal leave will carry over to the next year .

5. Do I have to provide medical certificates if I am sick?

Each workplace has different guidelines around the provision of medical certificates. You should check in with your HR Manager to find out what applies to you.

6. Will I get paid without a medical certificate?

Each workplace has different guidelines around the provision of medical certificates. You should check in with your HR Manager to find out what applies to you.

Parental Leave

1. What is Parental Leave?

This is unpaid leave which an employee can take when a child is born or adopted.

2. When do I become eligible for Parental Leave?

You need to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months before the expected date of birth/adoption.

3. How long can I take?

You can take up to 12 months unpaid leave.

4. I am a casual, can I get parental leave?

Yes, if you have worked on a regular and systematic basis for over 12 months and have a reasonable expectation of continuing work.

5. Can I take another instance of Parental Leave if I have/adopt another baby?

Yes, if you are with the same employer you don’t need to work for another 12 months to be eligible for more Parental Leave.

Long Service Leave

1. How do I know if I am eligible to get Long Service Leave?

Please refer to our References > Entitlements section and click on the Long Service Leave document (State & Territory specific) to view your entitlements to Long Service Leave.