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Paid Time Leave for Weddings, Funerals, Ceremonies, or the Birth of a Child

Published October 19, 2016 (last updated on July 1, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


Life events are a fact of life and can be a joyous occasion or a difficult time. What are your obligations as an employer when employees request time off to attend weddings, funerals, school sports days, graduation ceremonies, religious ceremonies, the birth of a child or children’s birthday parties?

According to the Fair Work Act 2009, there is no obligation to pay employees when they are off work to attend such events.

Most employers would ask their employees to take these days or half-days as annual leave. Some might allow staff to take time off and make up the hours before or after, but that would be up to the employer.

Funerals however would generally be treated as a special case, if a member of an employee’s immediate family or household dies or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury. In this case, the employee is entitled to compassionate leave (also known as bereavement leave). All employees are entitled to two days compassionate leave each time an immediate family or household member dies or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury. Full-time and part-time employees receive paid compassionate leave at their base pay rate for the ordinary hours and casual employees receive unpaid compassionate leave.

For any other life events such as weddings, religious ceremonies, school sports days, graduation ceremonies and children’s birthday parties it is up to the discretion of the employer and a sign of goodwill towards the employee whether to grant time off.

It is good practice to offer flexible working arrangements. Your business is more likely to hold on to employees, see better productivity and job satisfaction, and reduce absenteeism. Your employees can potentially find a better balance between work and their personal lives for key events.

As Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist, Peninsula can help you understand all types of leave entitlements relevant in your workplace. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to speak with a specialist.

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