A full-time employee usually works an average of 38-hours each week for a company. This may be through a fixed-term contract, or under a permanent agreement the business. These hours may vary depending on the enterprise agreement, or a personal agreement between employee and employer. Regardless, full-time employees are entitled to numerous forms of paid leave. Below, we break down the different types of paid leave an employee is legally entitled to.
Four weeks’ annual leave is available for full-time workers. Leave not taken within a 12-month period will accumulate into the next year. Additionally, if the employee decides to leave the business and has unserved annual leave, this must be paid out.
Further, many enterprise agreements and awards allow leave loading, which is an extra payment employees receive on top of their usual leave pay. To clarify, this is usually 17.5% of the employee’s base rate of pay,.
The employee and employer must agree on a time to take the annual leave. However, the employer must not unreasonably refuse an employee’s request, with the following factors used to determine reasonableness;
- The employee’s needs versus the employer’s needs.
- Any prior agreements about leave.
- Business customs with leave.
- Length of notice given.
Paid sick and carer’s leave
Annually, full-time employees are entitled to 10 working days of paid personal leave. This leave protects an employees’ income when required to miss a day of work due to illness or injury. This may be for personal illness, or to care for a family member.
Paid sick and carer’s leave begins to accumulate from the employees’ first day at work. If the 10 days are not taken, the balance carries over into the next year. Sick and carer’s leave continues to accumulate when an employee is on;
- Paid annual leave, or paid sick and carer’s leave.
- Community service leave e.g. jury duty.
- Long service leave.
Compassionate and bereavement leave
Compassionate leave is available to all employees. If a member of the employee’s immediate family or household dies, or develops a life-threatening illness / injury, the employee may take paid compassionate leave.
Each time an instance like this occurs, 2-days of paid leave are available to employees. This is available as a continuous 2-day period, or two separate days. Furthermore, compassionate leave does not accumulate, and cannot be cashed out at the end of employment.
Paid parental leave
The government organises paid parental leave, as opposed to your employer. Accordingly, full-time employees who are the primary carer of a newborn can receive up to 18-weeks paid leave at the national minimum wage. In addition, full-time employees who are not the primary carer of a new born (usually the father), receive 2-weeks of paid leave at the national minimum wage.
Community service leave
Full-time employees are entitled to 10-days of ‘make-up’ pay for jury selection and jury duty. Make-up pay is the difference between what the Court pays the juror, and the base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked. However, only 10-days of pay is available.
For example, imagine if your jury duty lasts 18-days. The Court may pay you $100 daily, whereas your base-rate of pay is $240 daily. Thus, the employer is required to pay you $140 per day, for the first 10-days. However, after the 10-days, you will not receive any payment from your employer.
Long service leave
2-months (8.67 weeks) of paid leave are available as long service leave for employees who have worked for the same employer for 10-years. This is paid at the employees’ base rate of pay.
In conclusion, there are numerous types of paid leave that a full-time employee may be entitled to. The Fair Work Ombudsman regulates and determines paid leave through the National Employment Standards. For more information, an employment lawyer may be able to assist your enquiries.