Employees have a range of leave entitlements in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES).
When you’re employing your first employee, I’m sure you’ve considered Annual Leave and Personal/Carer’s Leave (Sick and Carer’s Leave), but there are other types of leave that your employees are entitled to that you need to be aware of.
Here are the different types of leave entitlements covered in the NES.
Permanent employees (both full time and part time) are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave. Shift workers may be entitled to 5 weeks annual leave.
Annual leave accumulates gradually during the year and any unused annual leave will roll over from year to year. Any unused balance is paid on termination of employment.
Part time employees entitlement is calculated on a pro rata basis according to the hours they work per week.
Personal/Carer’s Leave (Sick and Carer’s Leave)
Sick leave can be used when an employee is ill or injured.
Carer’s leave can be used when an employee may have to take time off to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or to help during a family emergency. It comes out of the employee’s personal/carer’s leave balance.
Permanent employees are entitled to 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave.
Part time employees entitlement is calculated on a pro rata basis according to the hours they work.
Casual employees don’t get paid personal/carer’s leave, but are entitled to unpaid personal/carer’s leave.
Permanent and casual employees are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. They can also request up to an additional 12 months of leave.
All employees are able to take parental leave if they:
- have worked for their employer for at least 12 months:
- before the date or expected date of birth if the employee is pregnant
- before the date of the adoption, or
- when the leave starts (if the leave is taken after another person cares for the child or takes parental leave)
- have or will have responsibility for the care of a child.
Employees can take compassionate leave if:
- a member of their immediate family or household dies, or contracts or develops a life-threatening illness or injury
- a baby in their immediate family or household is stillborn
- they or their current spouse or de facto partner has a miscarriage.
Community Service Leave
All employees can take community service leave for activities such as voluntary emergency management activities or jury duty.
Community service leave is unpaid, except for jury duty.
Jury duty is paid for full-time and part-time employees for the first 10 days of jury selection and jury duty. A “make-up” payment is made and it’s the difference between any jury duty payment the employee receives (excluding any expense-related allowances) from the court and the employee’s base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked.
Jury duty is unpaid for casual employees.
Voluntary emergency management activities include emergency activities associated with being a member of the SES, RFS and similar organisations.
Long Service Leave
An employee gets long service leave (LSL) after a long period of working for the same employer (usually 10 years). There are some circumstances where an employee may be eligible for pro rata payments of LSL.
LSL is slightly different in each state and territory and the entitlement comes from LSL legislation in each state and territory.
Some industries (security, community services, building and construction, coal mining, and contract cleaning industries) in some states and territories provide employees with access to portable long service leave.
An employee keeps their LSL entitlement even if they work for more than one employer and their service is recorded by these industry schemes.
Family and Domestic Violence Leave
Full-time, part-time and casual employees will be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. It won’t be pro-rated for part-time or casual employees.
The full 10-day leave entitlement will be available upfront. It won’t accumulate from year to year if it’s not used.
The leave will be available from:
1 February 2023, for employees of non-small business employers (employers with 15 or more employees on 1 February 2023)
1 August 2023, for employees of a small business (employers with less than 15 employees on 1 February 2023).
For further expert advice on human resources or if you have any questions about anything HR related, get in touch.
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