- My daughter needs to go to the dentist – what leave can I take?
- My Aunt’s husband just passed away – what leave can I take?
- I am about to have a baby – I think you know that one.
Annual leave is pretty obvious you are going on holidays, you take annual leave, but sometimes you will need to take annual leave if you have an event that falls outside of the other leave. For instance your Aunt’s husband passing away would require you take your personal/carers leave or your annual leave. You would not be entitled to Compassionate leave in this circumstance. The person needs to be an immediate member of the family or living with you.
Annual leave is accumulated at 20 days per annum, for a full time employee and pro-rate for part time workers. Annual leave doesn’t accumulate when you are on unpaid leave. Shift workers receive 5 weeks per year and again pro-rate for part time workers.
Annual leave accumulates from year to year and when you leave you are paid out the balance that you have accumulated. You can be directed to take annual leave if the business is closing between Christmas and New Years and if you have excessive annual leave owing to you.
Personal/Carers leave can be a little confusing. It used to be called “Sick leave”, but they changed it to Personal/Carers leave, so that it is clear that you don’t have to be sick to use it, it can be when a member of your immediate family or household are ill. You can take time off to care for them.
Personal/Carers leave accumulates at a rate of 10 days per annum for a full time employee and pro- rate for part time. It accumulates from year to year, but does not get paid out when an employee leave. Personal/Carers Leaver also doesn’t accumulate when you are on unpaid leave.
Compassionate leave is when a family member dies or has a life threatening situation. You receive 2 days per incident and you can take these 2 days at a time or you can take them as two separate days at two separate times.
Immediate family is spouse, de facto, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or spouse or de factor’ immediate family and you could only take compassionate leave for an aunt or their partner if they lived with you. If the person was not immediate family then you would need to take your personal/carers leave or your annual leave. You may be asked to provide proof.
So you have just discovered there is a bun in the oven – Congratulations very soon, you will never experience normal sleep patterns again and your boss’s life will change almost as much. When you tell your boss about the new addition to the family, remember how your partner reacted? You will get close to the reaction of your employer. Shock, disbelief, perhaps even asks you if you are sure!!
Once you have confirmed that you are definitely having a baby and you are leaving them, it is important you know how long you want to take off and advise them as soon as possible. It is always
best to provide the maximum period you think you want to take off and then cut it back if you need to. Your employer can then plan for the maximum period to replace you, advising the new contractor that the contract will be a maximum of 12 months for example, but that it may be a minimum of 6 months. If you decide that you aren’t returning, you should also let them know as soon as possible. As long as you have been with the company for 12 months prior to the date of the birth you are entitled to 12 months leave, but you can take an additional 12 months if you require. All of this applies, if you are the father and planning on taking paternity leave or if you decide to adopt.
Long service leave, if you are entitled to this, well done. It means that you are a loyal employee and you should be compensated for that. Basically it is an accumulation of time, from the day you were first employed and in some states it can be paid out at 5 years. It accumulates at different rates in different states, so best for you to check what your rate is by going to the Fair Work site. You can have a look there.
Community Service leave, this gets used quite a bit when we have natural disaster. There are recognised bodies for this – fire fighting, civil defence, rescue bodies, SES, Country Fire Association, RSPCA, etc.
You may be required to participate, and you can take as much Community Service leave as is required. This is unpaid leave, but it is good to let your employer know as soon as possible, how long the group believe you will be required. You may be required to provide evidence.
Jury Service is obviously where you have been called up. Sometimes your role is such that you are unable to attend jury service and you can obtain a letter from your employer outlining their need to retain your services. Jury service is the only one that is paid. You will receive compensation from the Court and your employer needs to make up the difference to your ordinary wage for the first 10 days.
Your boss may have policies around leave; ensure you read them to understand what rules they have put around them also.
As you can see annual, personal carers, long service, compassionate, maternity, paternity, community leave there is a lot of leave and whilst a large portion of it is your most favourite time, it is not for your boss. He or she is going to have to “cope” whilst you sun yourself in the Bahamas. Be mindful; always let your boss know what you are doing as soon as possible. If you have holidays planned throughout the year or perhaps are thinking about taking some of that well earned Long Service Leave give them the “heads up” as soon as possible. That will make your time off enjoyable for everyone.
The HR People