Employment Contracts, Enterprise Agreements and Awards all contain detailed leave provisions. All employees should become familiar with them.
• annual leave,
• long service leave,
• sick leave,
• bereavement leave,
• family/carer’s leave,
• jury service leave,
• blood donor leave,
• parental leave, and
• emergency services leave
Members frequently ask the SDA about their leave entitlements. Every Enterprise Agreement and Award negotiated by the SDA contains detailed leave provisions, with which all employees need to be familiar.
Some forms or leave are paid, while some are unpaid. Casuals do not have access to most forms of paid leave but are instead compensated by a casual loading incorporated in their hourly rate of pay.
Permanent employees are legally entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave. Some Enterprise Agreements or Awards provide more generous entitlements. Annual leave becomes due after 12 months of service but, by agreement, may be taken in advance. Clauses relating to annual leave usually cover:
• the method of accrual and calculation of annual leave,
• how loadings and penalties are treated during annual leave,
• how annual leave may be taken – in single days and/or weekly blocks,
• the payment of annual leave loading (usually 17.5% paid on top of the ordinary rate of pay),
• when payment becomes due, ordinarily prior to taking leave, and
• what happens when public holidays fall during a period of annual leave.
Sick Leave is paid leave when a permanent employee is unable to attend work due to personal illness or incapacity. Awards and Agreements generally provide for between 38 and 76 hours of sick leave per year of service. Unused sick leave accumulates from year to year.
To access paid sick leave, most Agreements and Awards typically require employees to:
• notify their employer expeditiously, and
• provide satisfactory evidence – usually a medical certificate or statutory declaration.
This leave is paid leave to attend to unforseen family or personal matters, including illness of a close family member. Most Agreements negotiated by the SDA provide for a non-cumulative entitlement of three days per year of service.
This leave is paid leave, usually between three and five days, upon the death of a close relative. It is important to check you Agreement or Award for details of those family members covered by this entitlement.
Check your Enterprise Agreement or Award
Other forms of leave include jury service leave, blood donor leave, parental leave and emergency services leave.
Casual employees with the appropriate periods of continuous service are entitled to both long service and parental leave.
Your exact entitlements are set out in your Enterprise Agreement or Award. If you are unsure and want to know more, talk to your workplace Delegate, Organiser or contact the SDA.
Long Service Leave book (1378 KB)