Sick and carer's leave

Sick and carer's leave lets an employee take time off to help them deal with personal illness, caring responsibilities, or family emergencies.

It's also known as personal leave or personal / carer's leave.

Video: Sick and carer's leave

Watch our short video on sick and carer’s leave to find out:

  • what employees are entitled to and when they can take leave
  • how much leave employees can take
  • how the leave accumulates
  • what employees need to do when they need to take leave.

Paid sick leave

Full-time and part-time employees can take paid sick leave if they can’t work because of a personal illness or injury.

Full-time employees are entitled to 10 sick days per year. The leave is pro-rata for part-time employees.

Unused sick and carer’s leave is carried over to the next year.

Learn more at:

Paid and unpaid carer’s leave

Employees can take carer’s leave (paid or unpaid) if they need to look after an immediate family member or household member who is:

  • sick
  • injured, or
  • affected by an unexpected emergency.

Paid carer’s leave

Paid carer’s leave is available to full-time and part-time employees. It can be taken when they need to look after a family member or a member of their household who needs care or support because of a:

  • personal illness
  • injury, or
  • an unexpected emergency.

Find out more at Paid sick and carer's leave.

Unpaid carer’s leave

Casual employees are entitled to 2 days of unpaid carer’s leave per occasion.

Full-time and part-time employees can take unpaid carer’s leave if they have no paid sick or carer’s leave left.

See Unpaid carer’s leave.

Unexpected emergencies

An unexpected emergency is an unforeseen or sudden and urgent event or situation.

Whether an employee can take carer’s leave because of an unexpected emergency depends on the circumstances.

Unexpected emergencies aren’t limited to illnesses or injuries and can include taking time to pick up a child from school. Things to consider might include:

  • how much notice, if any, the employee had of the emergency
  • whether the employee can work from home or use other alternative work arrangements (such as changing their pattern of work to help manage their work and caring responsibilities)
  • the age and independence of the family member or household member who needs care
  • whether the employee can make alternative arrangements to care for the family or household member.

Immediate family members or 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 facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner).

This definition includes step-relations (for example, step-parents and step-children) as well as adoptive relations.

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

Notice and medical certificates

An employee needs to give their employer reasonable evidence that they aren’t fit for work if their employer asks for it. See Notice and medical certificates.

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.12 and 97.

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