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Personal leave and carer’s leave – are they different?

UncategorizedApril 5, 2016

Personal leave and carer’s leave – are they different? (Last Updated On: October 9, 2018)

What is Personal Leave?

Personal leave or compassionate leave is entitled to employees (casual or otherwise) for each occasion when a member of the employee’s immediate family requires support or care due to illness, injury or other similar circumstances. Personal leave is usually given as two days of unpaid leave per instance.

There may come a time when an employee needs time off to care for and assist a family member. Does this mean you as an employer must provide them with additional leave, above what they are already entitled to?

In short, the answer is no. All employees, other than casual employees, are entitled to 10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave per year, meaning sick leave, personal leave and carer’s leave all fall into this category. An employee’s entitlement to personal/carer’s leave accrues progressively throughout the year according to their ordinary hours of work.

An employee is entitled to take this as carer’s leave if they need to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household because of an illness, injury, or unexpected emergency affecting that member.

Who counts as immediate family?

Immediate family means a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee; or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of their spouse or de facto partner.

Does my employee need to supply a medical certificate?

Your employee must present evidence that the leave was taken due to the need to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household. This may be in the form of a medical certificate, but technically it does not have to be. It could also be a statutory declaration stating their requirements.

Your employee must give you as much notice as possible of their intention to take carer’s leave and also advise you of their expected return to work date.

What if the employee runs out personal/carer’s leave?

An employee is entitled to 2 days, per occasion, of unpaid carer’s leave once they have run out of paid personal/carer’s leave.

Compassionate leave

In addition to personal/carer’s leave, employees, other than a casual employee, are also entitled to 2 days, per occasion, of paid compassionate leave where a member of their immediate family or household contracts or develops a personal illness, or sustains a personal injury that poses a serious threat to their life, or worse still, passes away.

A casual employee is entitled to unpaid compassionate leave on the same basis as set out above.

If you have any questions relating to personal/carer’s or any other type of leave, call Employsure on 1300 651 415. We can advise employers on all and any workplace relations matters to ensure you are meeting you obligations.

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