Sick Leave Guide

Sick Leave Guide

Table of content

  1. What is Sick Leave?
  2. How much sick leave per year?
  3. Does sick leave get paid out when you resign in Australia?
  4. Do casual employees receive payment for sick leave?
  5. How can Workstem help?

What is Sick Leave?

Sick leave is a type of paid time off that employees can use when they are unable to work due to illness or injury. It is provided by employers to support their employees in taking care of their health without sacrificing their income. The amount of sick leave an employee is entitled to, as well as the rules and regulations around its use, may vary depending on the company and local labour laws.

An employee can take paid sick leave when they can’t work because of a personal illness or injury. This can include stress and pregnancy related illnesses.An employee can take paid carer’s leave to care for or support a member of their immediate family or household who is sick, injured or has an unexpected emergency.

How much sick leave per year?

Sick and carer’s leave are part of the same leave entitlement. It’s also known as personal/carer’s leave.The yearly entitlement is based on an employee’s ordinary hours of work and is 10 days for full-time employees, and pro-rata for part-time employees. This can be calculated as 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a year.

Example: Sick and carer’s leave entitlements for part-time employees

Suzanne is a full-time employee who works 38 hours, 5 days a week. Rebecca is a part-time employee who works an average of 19 hours per week, working a 5-day fortnight. Suzanne gets 76 hours of paid sick and carer’s leave per year. Rebecca gets half of Suzanne’s paid sick and carer’s leave (38 hours) per year as she works half the hours Suzanne works.

The amount of paid sick and carer’s leave accumulated over a period isn’t affected by differences in the spread of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a week.

Example: Different spread of hours

If Suzanne works 38 ordinary hours a week over five days (Monday to Friday) and Jango works 38 ordinary hours over four days per week, they both accumulate the same amount of sick and carer’s leave. Over a year of employment, both employees accumulate 76 hours of paid sick and carer’s leave.

A registered agreement, award or contract can set out different entitlements to paid sick and carer’s leave, but they can’t be less than the minimum in the National Employment Standards.

Does sick leave get paid out when you resign in Australia?

In Australia, sick leave does not typically get paid out when an employee resigns. Generally, unused sick leave is not considered a form of entitlement that is payable upon resignation or termination. However, some employers may have specific policies or employment contracts that address the payout of unused sick leave upon resignation. It is advisable to check with your employer or consult your employment contract for specific details regarding sick leave payouts upon resignation.

Do casual employees receive payment for sick leave?

Yes, casual employees in Australia are entitled to receive payment for sick leave under certain conditions. Casual employees who work regular and systematic hours, have been working for the same employer for at least 12 months, and have accrued a certain amount of sick leave entitlements are eligible to be paid for sick leave they take. The rate of payment is based on their average earnings over the previous six months. Casual employees who do not meet these criteria are generally not entitled to paid sick leave.

How can Workstem help?

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