Sick leave

Sick leave is leave that employees can take when they can't attend work because they are sick or injured.

Sick leave is a type of personal leave under the National Employment Standards (NES).

Under the NES full time employees are entitled to 10 days’ paid personal leave (for sick and paid carer’s leave) per year. Part-time employees receive a pro-rata entitlement to sick leave based on the number of hours they work. Paid personal leave accumulates from year to year.

You can use the Leave Calculator to calculate personal leave entitlements under the NES.

For employees covered by an award or agreement (including transitional award or agreement based instruments), cashing out of paid personal / carer’s leave (such as sick leave) is permitted if all of the following apply:

  • the award or agreement allows it
  • there must be a separate agreement in writing on each occasion that leave is cashed out
  • the employee must retain a balance of at least 15 days of untaken paid personal / carer's leave
  • the employee must be paid at least the full amount that would have been payable had the employee taken the leave that the employee has cashed out.

An employer must not exert undue influence or undue pressure on an employee to cash out a period of personal / carer’s leave.

An employee not covered by an award or agreement is not able to cash out paid personal / carer’s leave.

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Page last updated: 09 Feb 2012