Personal Leave Certificate

Personal Leave in Australia

Sick leave allows employees to take time off from work during an injury or illness, to recover. Stress and pregnancy related illness may be included here in the definition of illness. Carer's leave allows employees to take time off from work to care for a household member or immediate family member who is unwell, or to help with family emergencies.

Personal leave that an employee accumulates, is the balance from which both sick leave and carers leave come from. The only employees not entitled to paid sick leave and carers leave, are casual employees.

A person who lives in the same home as the employee, is a household member. An immediate family member of the employee can include:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • De facto partner
  • The immediate family member of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner

Full-time employees are entitled to 10 days of paid personal leave each year. Part-time employees receive personal leave in proportion to the amount of hours they work. Therefore a part time employee who works half-time hours, for example, is entitled to 5 days of personal leave annually. A different sick leave entitlement may be set for employees in a registered agreement by their employers, however it cannot be less than the minimum set out previously.

From the first day of an employee’s work, personal leave accumulates. It continues to accumulate during paid leave, such as paid personal leave and annual leave. However during unpaid leave, personal leave does not accumulate. Any personal leave that hasn’t been taken by the end of a year, carries over to the next year. Apply for your leave certificate here.

When taking paid personal leave, employees are paid their base rate of pay. They are however not paid for other entitlements such as overtime they would normally work, bonuses, loadings or penalty rates.

When employees are taking personal leave, they must let their employers know about it as soon as they can, and they must let them know how long they expect to be off work. Employers are entitled to ask for evidence of the employee’s illness or reason for taking personal leave, even if the period of leave is only one day. Medical certificates is a commonly accepted form of evidence.
When you need to give evidence to your employer and what type of evidence they require, should be specified by your registered agreement or workplace policy. Unless requested by an employee, the employer should not attend a medical appointment with the employee and employers should not contact the employee’s doctor for further information.

A prearranged medical appointment or elective surgery can be coved by sick leave only if the employee is not able to work due to illness or personal injury. Whether an employee’s prearranged appointment can be covered by personal leave or another type of leave or entitlement, should be discussed with the employer, and he may ask for evidence of the illness or injury to help him decide.

All employees, including casual employees, are entitled to two days of unpaid carers leave. Only when employees have exhausted their accumulated paid personal leave, can they take this unpaid leave.

When employees run out of paid sick leave, they can take unpaid leave if they need it. If employees provide evidence of their temporary illness or injury, they can’t be dismissed due to it. The time period of temporary illness is taken as being less than three months within a twelve month period. An employee who takes more than three months of sick leave may be lawfully terminated by the employer. The lawfulness of such a termination depends on the circumstances of each situation.

When employees receive payment instead of taking their paid personal leave, it is known as cashing out personal leave. Registered agreements may allow cashing out personal leave.

Employers that allow cashing out of personal leave under a registered agreement, must only pay out if:

  1. A written agreement is made each time.
  2. After they cashed out, the employee has at least 15 days of personal leave remaining.
  3. The employee is paid at least the amount they would have received, had they taken the leave.
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