Entitlements

Regardless of your employment status that is whether you’re employed on a full time, part time, casual or contract basis, you will be entitled to some sort of entitlements.

Leave entitlements are important for the occupational health and safety of workers as it allows workers right’s to recover from illness and injury, time off to distress and not experience fatigue.

The laws around this area can seem to be complex and it is in your best interest to know exactly what your rights and entitlements are. The laws are there to ensure that every workplace is fair.

This factsheet outlines up to date information as of the 1 January 2012.
The national minimum standards of leave and holiday conditions include:

Annual leave:
Full time and part time workers are entitled to four weeks annual leave pro rata over 12 months.

It should accrue through the year which means that a part timer who works 2.5 days per week should have 10 days of paid annual leave at the end of the 12 month period.

It is common for workplace agreements and awards to include leave loading which is typically around 17.5 per cent on top of the normal pay rate.

Any accrued leave shall be paid out at the end of your employment, depending on your agreement and award terms this may or may not include leave loading.

If your leave falls on a public holiday then you must be paid the public holiday rate and not compromise your annual leave.

Employers are legally obligated to show you how much leave you have on your payslip.

Unfortunately casual workers are not entitled to annual leave.

Sick leave (personal leave), carers leave and compassionate leave:
Full time and permanent workers are entitles to 10 days sick, carers or compassionate leave. Sick leave is to be used when an employee is unfit for work due to illness or injury. Carers leave should be taken when you are required to take time off work to care for a sick immediate family member or a member of your household.

This type of leave is paid at the same rate as your usual pay and to be paid at the same time as your usual pay and cannot be taken on a public holiday.

You are also entitled to two days unpaid carers leave on each occasion that they are required to care for an immediate member of your family. Unpaid leave can only legally be taken when all paid leave is exhausted.

You are also entitled to two days of paid compassionate leave when a member of your immediate family passes away or is seriously ill.

You are required to give notice of your intentions to take sick, carer’s or compassionate leave as soon as practically possible, and you may be required to submit evidence of relevant illness or circumstances in which you’ve requested the leave. Without this evidence your employer has the right to refuse your leave application.

Long service leave:
In recognition of the loyalty that workers show their employers by serving in the organisation for an extended amount of time, workers are entitled to long service leave.

At this stage each state has its own legislated parameters around long service leave. Here is a summary of your entitlements.

State

Initial entitlement

Pro rata accessibility

Pro rata qualification

Subsequent entitlement

WA

8.67 weeks after 10 years

Available after 7 years

Termination of employment for any reason other than serious misconduct or death of employee

4.33 weeks after an additional 7 years

NSW

8.67 weeks after 10 years

Available after 5 years

Any reasonable circumstance excluding serious misconduct or wilful misconduct or death of employee

4.33 weeks after an additional 5 years

VIC

8.67 weeks after 10 years

Available after 7 years

Termination of employment

4.33 weeks after an additional 7 years

SA

13 weeks after 10 years

Available after 7 years

Termination of employment for any reason other than serious misconduct and unlawful termination of employment by employee or death of employee

1.3 weeks for every additional year thereafter

QLD

8.67 weeks after 10 years

Available after 7 years

Termination of employment as a result of illness/incapacity, domestic or other pressing necessity, unfair dismissal or dismissal for reasons other than employee’s conduct, capacity or performance or the death of the employee

4.33 weeks after an additional 5 years

NT

13 weeks after 10 years

Available after 7 years

Termination of employment as a result of attaining retirement age, illness, incapacity, domestic or other pressing necessity or reasons other than serious misconduct or death of the employer

6.5 weeks after an additional 5 years

ACT

6.07 weeks after 7 years

Available after 5 years

Termination of employment as a result of attaining retirement age, illness of incapacity, domestic or other pressing necessity or a reason other than serious and wilful misconduct or the death of the employee

0.867 weeks per annum thereafter

TAS

13 weeks after 15 years or 13 weeks after 10 years for mining employees

Available after 7 years or available after 5 years for mining employees

Termination of employment as a result of attaining retirement age, illness, domestic or other pressing necessity or a reason other than serious and wilful misconduct or the death of the employee

8.667 after an additional 10 years or 13 weeks after an additional 10 years for mining employees

Community leave:
Community leave is available to workers who are required to attend jury service, participate in voluntary emergency management activities or other special circumstances.

A permanent employee who has to attend jury service for up to 10 days is entitled to their full pay, thereafter the employer no longer has to top up the difference between the courts allowance and the employees ordinary pay.

Some work place agreements include a clause which extends the amount of days your employer will top up your pay. Community leave is available to both permanent and casual staff.

Parental leave:
As of 1 January 2011 the Gillard government implemented Australia’s first paid parental leave scheme providing new parents with 18 weeks of leave at minimal wage currently $589.40 before tax.

This is on top of agreements where employers agree to top up workers entitlement from the minimal amount to their full wage.

Who is eligible?
To qualify you must satisfy these conditions:

•    Be the primary carer of a newborn or recently adopted child
•    Are an Australian Resident
•    Worked for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption
•    Worked for at least 330 hours in that 10 month period with no more than an eight week gap between two consecutive working days
•    Receive an individual adjusted taxable income of $150 000
•    Have taken leave or not working from the time you become the child’s primary carer until the end of the Paid Parental Leave period
The Paid Parental After 12 months of continuous service with an employer you are entitled to access 12 months unpaid parental leave.

Public holidays:
Listed below are the national public holidays legislated by Fair Work.

•    New Years day (1 January)
•    Australia day (26 February)
•    Good Friday (varied)
•    Easter Monday (varied)
•    Anzac day (25 April)
•    Queen’s Birthday Holiday (varied state to state)
•    Christmas day (25 December)
•    Boxing day (26 December)

State based holidays include:
•    Labour day
•    Melbourne Cup day (VIC)
•    Bank holiday (NSW)
•    Royal Queensland Show day (QLD)
•    Picnic day (NT)
•    Adelaide Cup day (SA)
•    Foundation day (WA)
•    Royal Hobart Show day (TAS)
•    Easter Saturday (VIC, NSW, QLD, NT, SA)
•    Easter Tuesday (TAS)
•    Show day (NT)
•    Royal Hobart Regatta day (TAS)