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Immediate family.

(Last Updated On: April 30, 2018)

What is Immediate Family?

Immediate family refers to a person or employee’s parents, siblings, spouse, children and anyone with a blood-relation to the individual who has a close or immediate relationship with the family. Immediate family could also refer to adopted children, grandparents, grand-children, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, civil partners and co-habitants.

The definition of “immediate family” becomes important when employees want to take paid or unpaid leave because of an immediate family or household member. The Fair Work Act says a household member is anyone who lives with the employee and the immediate family includes:

  • the employee’s spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling or
  • the employee’s spouse or de facto partner’s child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling

 Your employee may ask to take paid or unpaid leave to:

  • provide care or support when someone in the immediate family or household is suffering illness, injury or emergency
  • spend time with someone in the immediate family or household who develops a life threatening illness or has a life threatening injury
  • deal with the death of an immediate family or household member

Whether your employee is permanent or casual affects what type of leave they can take and whether it is paid or unpaid. Usually permanent employees can take paid personal leave if it has accrued, or they take unpaid personal or carer’s leave. They are also allowed two days of paid or unpaid compassionate leave for each occasion.

Your employees must give as much notice as possible for taking personal leave and provide genuine evidence, such as a doctor’s certificate. You cannot treat them any differently for taking time off for immediate family or household members, as long as they have given notice, genuine reasons and evidence.

Employsure can advise you on granting leave because of immediate family. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.

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