Sick & carer's leave
A Full Federal Court decision handed down on 21 August 2019 confirmed the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards. The information in this section has been updated to reflect this decision. As applications have been made to the High Court seeking special leave to appeal the decision, the FWO will review its advice at the conclusion of those proceedings, and you may wish to seek your own advice. Find out more about the decision.
Sick and carer's leave (also known as personal leave or personal / carer's leave) lets an employee take time off to help them deal with personal illness, caring responsibilities and family emergencies.
Sick leave can be used when an employee is ill or injured.
An employee may have to take time off to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or help during a family emergency. This is known as carer's leave but it comes out of the employee's personal leave balance.
The National Employment Standards includes both paid and unpaid leave entitlements. For more information go to:
Immediate family members or household members
An immediate family member is a:
- spouse or former spouse
- de facto partner or former de facto partner
- sibling, or
- child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto 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.
Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.12 and 97
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