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Bite-Size HR: The Fifth Bite

Published: December 7, 2023

Employment Relations Adviser, Helen, covers three common misconceptions around Personal Leave entitlements.

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What are the biggest misconceptions

about personal leave? First misconception:

Personal leave cannot be used for

pre-arranged medical appointments or

elective surgery. It is not uncommon to

receive leave requests from employees to

attend pre-arranged medical appointments

or elective surgery. These types of

absences can only be covered by personal

leave if the employee is unable to

attend work because of a personal

illness or injury. In first instance, it

is recommended to review your current

policies and procedures in the employee

handbook to ensure that you qualify for

the correct leave otherwise employers

can ask for evidence from the employee

to confirm that they are unfit for work.

Second misconception: Unused personal leave

does not roll over to the following year.

Any unused personal leave balance at the

end of the year will carry over into the

next year. It is the same as annual leave

except unused personal leave is not paid

out upon termination.

It is worth noting some awards or

negotiated agreements may allow your

employee to cash out personal and carer's leave entitlements.

Third misconception: Compassionate leave is the

same entitlement as personal leave.

Whilst compassionate leave is a subsection of

the Personal Leave provisions under the

National Employment Standards, it is a

separate entitlement to paid personal

leave, therefore any absences on compassionate

leave is not deducted from the employees

personal leave balance. Some awards may have

unique stipulations around personal

leave and compassionate leave, so call us if

you need to be sure of what may uniquely

apply to your business

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