Leave Policy

Overview

This Policy covers various forms of leave that can be taken while you are an employee of [the Company]. The various entitlements are set out below. Please note that generally:

  • leave entitlements arise from legislation and not your contract of employment and it may change following any relevant legislative amendments. The matters set out below are a summary and you should refer to the legislation for full details;
  • you should give proper notice to [the Company] before you take any form of leave;
    abuse of leave entitlements (including, but not limited to, sick leave) will be regarded as misconduct and can result in disciplinary action—if for any reason you have insufficient leave, please speak to your supervisor or [insert name or title];
  • if you have any questions about your leave entitlements, please speak to your supervisor of [insert name or title];

Annual Leave

Your annual leave entitlement is governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or other applicable legislation.

Please note that casual employees are not entitled to paid annual leave.

The provisions set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (which are subject to change) are summarised as follows:

  • full time employees are entitled to 20 working days (four weeks) of paid annual leave per year of service (part-time employees are entitled to a pro rata amount);
  • the annual leave entitlement accrues on a pro-rata basis and is cumulative;
  • untaken annual leave accumulates from year to year;
  • [The Company] may require you to take a period of paid annual leave if that requirement is reasonable (including without limitation if you have accrued an excessive amount of paid annual leave or if [the Company] business is being shut down for a period)
  • Annual leave must be taken at such times as agreed with your Manager and you.
  • You must complete a leave form [insert amount of time] prior to a period of annual leave.

 

Scheduling Annual Leave
The scheduling of the taking of annual leave is a mutual responsibility between you and your Manager, but in all cases the final approval for annual leave applications is the sole responsibility of the [Title] who must ensure necessary staffing to meet the needs of [the Company] during that period. Please do not book holidays or pay for flights, etc, before you have approval. In urgent cases, you should speak to your Manager about your situation.

Annual close down

[The Company] has an Annual Close Down over the Christmas/New Year period each year, at which time all employees are required to take leave unless otherwise agreed and approved by [Title].

The period of the close down will be communicated by the [Title] no later than [no later than 30 November or as required] each year. During the annual close down, all employees must submit a leave form for their time off work.

Public Holidays

[The Company] recognises applicable public holidays as advised by the relevant Government authority. You are entitled to these holidays in addition to normal annual leave entitlements.

[The Company] shall give reasonable notice to you should you be required to work on a public holiday.

Personal (Sick) / Carer’s Leave

Your personal/carer’s leave entitlement is governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or other applicable legislation.

The provisions set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (which are subject to change) are summarised as follows:

  • full time employees are entitled to ten days of paid personal/carer’s leave per year of service (part-time employees are entitled to a pro rata amount);
  • the employee’s personal/carer’s leave entitlement accrues progressively during each year of service;
  • untaken paid personal/carer’s leave accumulates from year to year;
  • personal/carer’s leave can be taken when:
    • the employee is not fit for work because of a personal illness or injury; or
    • the employee needs to provide care or support to a member of the employees Immediate Family (see Definitions below for what is “immediate family”) or a member of the employee’s household who requires care or support because of a personal illness or injury or an unexpected emergency;
  • full time and part-time employees will be entitled to up to two days of unpaid carer’s leave for each permissible occasion when the employee needs to provide care or support to an Immediate Family member or a member of the employee’s household who requires care or support because of a personal illness or injury or an unexpected emergency; and
  • unpaid carer’s leave will only be available if full time and part-time employees have exhausted their paid personal/carer’s leave entitlement.

In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), casual employees are not entitled to paid personal/carer’s leave. However, casual employees are entitled to up to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave.

Untaken accrued personal/carer’s leave will not be paid out on termination of employment.

Notification Requirements

You must notify your immediate Manager [or the General Manager or as required] as soon as practicable and prior to 9:00am on the day of absence of a requirement to take personal/carer’s leave, including the nature of the illness and estimated duration of absence.

You must notify their immediate Manager [or the General Manager or as required] for each subsequent day of absence.

Medical Certificates

A medical certificate must be supplied to your Manager for a period of personal leave lasting more than 2 consecutive days.
A medical certificate may be requested, at [the Company]’s discretion, including (but not restricted to):

  • for any period of personal leave taken which is specifically carer’s leave; or
  • for personal leave taken on a day immediately before or after a public holiday.

Compassionate Leave

Your compassionate leave entitlement is governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or other applicable legislation. The provisions set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (which are subject to change) are summarised as follows:

  • all employees (including casual employees) are entitled to two days of compassionate leave for each permissible occasion when a member of the employee’s Immediate Family (see Definitions below for what is “immediate family”) or a member of your household contracts, develops or sustains a seriously life-threatening personal illness or injury, or dies;
  • compassionate leave is to be taken;
    • to spend time with the Immediate Family member or member of the employee’s household who has the seriously life-threatening personal illness or injury; or
    • after the death of the Immediate Family member or member of the employee’s household; and
    • to be entitled to compassionate leave, [the Company] may require the employee to provide evidence of the illness, injury or death.

Notification Requirements

[The Company] understands that the nature of compassionate leave means that in some cases, it will not be possible to give prior notice of an intention to take Compassionate Leave.
You must, however, notify [the Company] as soon as practicable of a requirement to take compassionate leave.

Supporting documents

You must provide appropriate documentation supporting your right to Compassionate Leave to your Manager upon your first day back at work.
Acceptable supporting documentation includes a;
death certificate;
funeral notice;
death notice; or
medical certificate.
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEAVE
Your community service leave entitlement is governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or other applicable legislation. The full definitions are set out below at 9, Definitions, but in short this leave covers Jury Duty, and being a volunteer with organisations such as State Emergency Service, and the County or Rural Fire Services during recognised emergencies or natural disasters, or the RSPCA if involved in animal rescue in the course of a recognised emergency or natural disaster.
Community service leave is unpaid, except in relation to jury service.
The provisions set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (which are subject to change) are summarised as follows:
the employee is entitled to be absent from work for the purposes of engaging in an Eligible Community Service Activity (see below for what is “Eligible Community Service Activity”);
the employee is entitled to absent for a period of time comprising:
the time when the employee is engaging in the Eligible Community Service Activity;
reasonable travelling time associated with the Eligible Community Service Activity; and
reasonable rest time immediately following the Eligible Community Service Activity;
You must be a member of, or have a member-like association with a recognised emergency management body. In addition, you must either be requested to engage in the activity, or it would be reasonable to expect that such a request would have been made if circumstances had permitted. Such service must be as a volunteer.
If you think you may at some time qualify for Community Service Leave because you are a volunteer member of an eligible emergency management organisation, you should advise [the Company] as soon as practicable after your employment commences, or you later join an emergency management organisation.
You must notify [the Company] as soon as practicable of a requirement to take community service leave (this may be after the leave starts). You must also tell [the Company] the period or expected period of absence.
You must also provide [the Company] evidence that you are entitled to community service leave.
Jury Service
You must advise [the Company] as soon as you receive notification from the relevant Court of your requirement to attend for jury service. A copy of the Attendance at Court Notice should be provided to [the Company].
You are entitled to “make up pay”, that is, the difference between the amount you are entitled to as jury service fees and the level of your base rate of pay (that is, your normal salary excluding any expense-related allowances, incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime and penalty rates, or any other separately identifiable amount) for the first 10 days that you are absent while serving on jury duty.
You must, however, provide to [the Company] evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that you have taken all necessary steps to obtain any amount of jury service pay to which you are entitled and the total amount of jury service pay that has been paid, or is payable, to you for the period (even if there was no jury service payment).Where you serve on a jury while on annual leave, the days served will be recognised for accrual of annual leave. This provision may differ depending on the legislation governing jury duty in your particular State.
PARENTAL LEAVE
In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) employees with at least 12 months continuous service, including long term casual employees who are employed on a regular and systematic basis, are entitled to take a period of up to 12 months Parental Leave.
For details of parental leave entitlements, please refer to the Parental Leave Policy.
LONG SERVICE LEAVE
Your long service leave entitlement is governed by legislation, usually State based Long Service Leave Acts. Each State will vary slightly as to entitlements, and reference should be made to the legislation in the State where you work (for some employees, other legislation may apply).
In summary, however, long service leave arises after 10 or 15 years service, and is a period of 2 months (for 10 years) or 3 months (for 15 years). There are provisions for pro-rata payment of long service leave after meeting a qualifying period (usually five or seven years), which is paid out under certain conditions when employment ends through no fault of the employee.
Please speak to your manager if you need to understand your entitlements to long service leave.
UNPAID LEAVE
If for any reason you have insufficient leave for any period of absence, you should discuss the possibility of taking unpaid leave with your supervisor or manager. There is no obligation to agree to your request for unpaid leave, and the needs of [the Company] and fairness to other employees will need to be considered, as well as your own circumstances. Under no circumstances should you simply fail to attend work or take leave without authority or as covered by this policy.
[The Company] may discuss with you options to taking unpaid leave. These may include taking leave in advance or flexible working arrangements.
You should note that unpaid leave will not normally break the continuity of service but will not count as service, for example, in calculating service for the purposes of long service leave.

Free Leave Policy Template

Download this free Leave Policy Template for Australian businesses to ensure your employees are familiar with your organisations leave policy and your business is protected if issues arise.