What types of leave are there?
Ask most people to name the various types of leave on offer at work, and they could probably come up with a couple, such as sick and annual. But that’s far from the full scope. Here’s Induct for Work’s guide to the types of leave available to employees, what they involve and who’s eligible.
This refers to holidays for which full and part-time employees are still paid – either with our without leave loading. The amount per year varies from industry to industry, and factors such as shiftwork can play a role, but a pretty standard figure is four weeks. This means that for every three months you work, you will accrue a week’s leave. Bear in mind payment works off your base salary, does not accrue on days when you are on unpaid leave and is also independent of public holidays. Note also that if it you become sick or injured on your annual leave, you can use sick or carer’s leave instead. Points to note
Some industries, such as media, require staff to work public holidays, in which case compensation is generally offered by way of extra annual leave or penalty rates. But apart from that, most employees are entitled to take off public holidays that are recognised in their home state. Employers may still ask them to work, but they are entitled to refuse, factoring in issues such as the amount of notice and their family circumstances. Points to note
This is also known as bereavement leave and is open to all employees, although casuals are generally not paid for it. It can be taken when a member of the staffer’s immediate family or household dies, or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury. The standard amount available is two days in each circumstance. Points to note
This is effectively leave which rewards a full-time employee for staying with the same company for a substantial and uninterrupted period of time. Each state and territory has its own laws that apply, except where there is a registered agreement or federal pre-modern award (see fairwork.gov.au). Long-service leave is paid at an employee’s ordinary pay rate, which would not generally include extras such as allowances and shift loadings. Points to note
This kind of leave lets an employee take time off to sort out personal sickness, family emergencies or caring responsibilities. Sick leave can be used by employees – excluding casuals – when they themselves are sick. It is paid. Carer’s leave can be used when they need time off to look after an immediate family or household member or help out with a family emergency. In this case an immediate family member is defined as a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a spouse’s child, parent, grandparent or grandchild. A household member is someone who lives with the employee. This kind of leave has both paid and unpaid provisions. All employees, bar casuals, are entitled to paid carer’s leave. All employees, including casuals, are entitled to two days’ unpaid carer’s leave each time it is needed. But full-time and part-time staff can only use it if their paid sick/carer’s leave is extinguished. Points to note
This is available to employees when they give birth, their spouse or de facto partner gives birth, or they adopt a child under 16. There are two types of paid parental leave available – from the Australian government, which offers 18 weeks’ leave at the national minimum wage – or from an employer. Having one does not rule out the other. There are a variety of entitlements available under the umbrella of parental leave, such as Dad and Partner pay, pre-adoption leave, and concurrent leave for parents who are married or in a defacto relationship. For more information visit fairwork.gov.au/Leave/maternity-and-parental-leave
This leave comes into play when an employee is injured at work or becomes sick due to work. It can include payments to cover wages while they’re unfit to work, and medical expenses and rehabilitation. Employers are required to take out workers’ compensation insurance. Each state has different governing bodies that oversees workers compensation.
This is where employees, including casuals, can take leave for activities such as jury duty and voluntary emergency management activities. There is no limit to how much they can take, but it is unpaid, apart from jury duty. The definition of voluntary emergency management duties is:
Points to note