Changes to Personal Leave Entitlements

From HR Advice Online - www.hradviceonline.com.au

1. An employee can use their accrued paid personal/carer's leave for any amount of personal leave or carer's leave per year. There is no cap on the amount that can be used for either purpose each year.

2. If an employee has taken all of their accrued paid personal/carer's leave entitlements in a year, and a member of the employee's immediate family or household requires care or support because of a personal illness, injury or unexpected emergency, that employee is entitled to take 2 days' unpaid carer's leave for each permissible occasion.

3. You can ask an employee to provide you with reasonable evidence of their reason for taking personal/carer's leave, e.g. medical certificate or statutory declaration. It may not be reasonable for you to ask an employee to provide you with a medical certificate every time they are absent due to personal illness. However, when an absence extends beyond a short period or an employee is repeatedly absent on particular days (i.e. before or after a weekend or public holiday), it may be reasonable for you to request a medical certificate.

4. Under the NES, paid personal/carer's leave can be cashed out if:

  • A term in a modern award or enterprise agreement allows the employee to forego an amount of paid personal/carer's leave (agreement/award-free employees cannot cash out paid personal/carer's leave - and presently no modern award permits this either);
  • Each arrangement you make to cash out a period of paid personal/carer's leave is by a separate agreement in writing between you and the employee;
  • The employee is paid at least the full amount they would have been paid if they had taken the leave;
  • You authorise the employee to forego the amount of leave;
  • The employee will still retain a minimum balance of 15 days' paid personal/carer's leave; and
  • Both you and the employee voluntarily agree to the cashing out arrangement.

5. If an employee is on a period of personal/carer's leave under the NES during a public holiday, that public holiday is not a personal/carer's leave day. You have to pay the employee as usual for the public holiday and not deduct the day from their paid personal/carer's leave entitlements

What do you need to do?

Ensure that your letters of offer and contracts of employment are compliant with the above.

For more great HR Advice, join HR Advice OnLine by going to www.hradviceonline.com.au and download the leave policy and ensure that it is part of your policy manual.