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Personal leave entitlements and what it covers.

We all know we receive our personal leave entitlements that accrue from year to year.  While some of us need to be at death’s door to take a sick day others are already dialling their manager’s phone number mid sneeze.

So what do our personal leave entitlements provide?

The National Employment Standards (NES) provide for personal leave, along with the relevant modern Award providing additional obligations.  If you are unsure of your modern Award, contact HR Gurus on 1300 959 560.

A full time employee is entitled to 10 days paid personal leave (pro-rated for part time employees) for each year of continuous service.  This leave provision covers sick leave for yourself and also carer’s leave for a family or household member.

In addition, all employees (including casual employees) are entitled to take 2 days of unpaid carer’s leave when a family or household member requires care or support due to illness, injury or emergency.

Under the NES immediate family members or household members are:

Spouse or former spouse, de-facto partner or former de-facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner).  A household member is any person who lives with the employee.  This does NOT include pets – trust me you will get asked!

Employees should try and provide as much notice as possible (however in the event of emergencies notice will be limited) and give an estimate of how much time is required for leave.

It is recommended you ask for a medical certificate from a registered practitioner for each period of personal or carer’s leave.  In some circumstances, if this is not possible a statutory declaration is acceptable.  The NES requires documentary evidence ‘that would satisfy a reasonable person’.  At HR Gurus we strongly recommend that you have a robust policy regarding personal leave to avoid any confusion for both employers and employees.

The NES includes both paid and unpaid personal and carer’s leave.  When paid personal or carer’s leave is taken, the employee is to be paid their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked during this period.  An employee’s applicable Award may provide a more favourable method of payment, if so, that is the payment that would be used.

Employees are entitled to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave.  Full-time and part-time employees can only get unpaid carer’s leave if they do not have any paid personal leave entitlements left.  This leave can be taken either in a continuous period or separate periods by mutual agreement.

If you need help creating some robust workplace policies give HR Gurus a call and one of our highly experienced HR professional will be able to assist.

Written by resident HR Guru Natalie Bol

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