Servicing Australia wide HR consulting for employers Australia wide.

Personal Leave-what is it?

Great question. Let’s break down some information to clarify the who, what, when and why of personal leave then draw a conclusion to your employee’s claim.

Personal leave defined
Sick leave is now known as personal leave or personal/carer’s leave. Personal leave allows an employee take time off:
• when they are ill or injured
• to care for an immediate or household member who is sick or injured
• to help during a family emergency

Immediate family and household members
An immediate family member is a:
• spouse or former spouse
• de facto partner or former de facto partner
• child
• parent
• grandparent
• grandchild
• sibling, or
• child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de fact partner (or former spouse or de facto partner). This definition includes step-relations (eg step-parents and step-children) as well as adoptive relations.

A household member is any person who lives with the employee.

Personal leave entitlement
The National Employment Standards (NES) provides an employee, other than a casual employee, with an entitlement to:
• 10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of service
• two days of paid compassionate on each permissible occasion
• two days of unpaid carer’s leave on each permissible occasion for genuine caring purposes or family emergencies if paid carer’s leave is exhausted.

Personal leave accrues on the basis of the employee’s ordinary hours of work.

Part time employees
Part time employees accrue personal leave based on the percentage of full-time hours worked.

Casual employees
Casual employees do not accrue paid personal leave but have an entitlement to:
• two days of unpaid compassionate leave on each permissible occasion
• two days of unpaid carer’s leave on each permissible occasion.

The higher hourly pay rate (or “loading”) paid to casual employees is designed to compensate for this classification of employees not receiving benefits such as personal leave or annual leave.

Employee obligation to provide evidence
Personal leave can be taken at any time, subject to the employee providing reasonable evidence to the employer, on the employer’s request.

Employers can ask employees to provide evidence why they have been away from work at any time, even if the employee has only been absent for one day. Medical certificates or statutory declarations are examples of acceptable forms of evidence.

While there are no strict rules on what type of evidence is required, the evidence has to convince a reasonable person the employee was genuinely entitled to the personal leave.


So…based on the information above and what you’ve provided in your question, are you being scammed? Short answer: yes. What should you do?
1. Refer your employee to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s information page so he can read the correct information for himself:

2. Download the handy Fact Sheet on the same page for future reference for yourself.
3. Promote the guy…he’s management material!

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.