Did you know that on 21st August 2019 the Federal Court passed a decision regarding the method of accruing and taking paid personal / carer’s leave for the purposes of the National Employment Standards under the Fair Work Act 2009. The High Court granted these applications on 13 December 2019 and an appeal was heard in the High Court on 7 July 2020. However, as of early August, the High Court still hasn’t handed down its decision.
In the Mondelez decision, the majority of the Full Federal Court determined:
- Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to 10 working days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of employment.
- The leave protects those employees’ income when they are entitled to be absent from work due to illness or injury (or providing care or support to a family or household member who is ill, injured or suffering from an unexpected emergency).
- The leave must be calculated in working days, not hours. A working day is the portion of a 24-hour period that an employee would otherwise be working.
- An employee’s entitlement is expressly based upon time working for the employer and is expressly calculated in days.
- For every day of personal/carer’s leave taken, an employer deducts a day from the employee’s accrued leave balance. If an employee takes a part-day of leave, then an equivalent part-day is deducted from the employee’s accrued leave balance.
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Who is a part time employee?
A part time employee:
- works, on average, less than 38 hours per week
- usually works regular hours each week
- is a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract
Previously part-time employees accrued personal / carers leave as pro-rated according to number of hours worked each pay period.
Any leave not taken throughout the year, carries over to the next year.
What it is now?
Part-time employees are entitled to 10 days of sick and carer’s leave every year.
Part-time employees get 4 weeks of annual leave every year based on their ordinary hours of work (or 5 weeks if they qualify as a shift worker).
Any leave remaining at the end of each year carries over to the next year.
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