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When you’re working permanently at a job, you’re entitled to certain leave, like annual leave or sick leave.

This section briefly explains the type of leave you can get.

When can I take leave at work?

After 12 months of work, you’re entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave. You might need to agree when and how you take this with your employer, however, your employer can’t unreasonably not allow you to take it. Your employer can also require you to take annual leave if there is a close-down period (e.g. during Christmas), but they must give you at least 14 days’ notice.

When you’re on annual leave, you get paid your wages as if you were normally working.

Do I get leave if I’m a casual employee?

If you are a casual employee, or if your hours are so irregular it is difficult to provide you with 4 weeks of annual leave a year, you won’t get annual leave but you should be paid 8% on top your hourly wage instead. This can also happen if you are a fixed term employee.


Do I get public holidays off?

Check your employment agreement to find out whether you may be required to work on a public holiday – this is dependent on your agreement.

If you work on a public holiday, you’re also entitled to be paid 1.5 times your normal wage on the day.

Most employees (except for casual employees and employees who work irregular hours or are working on a day that is not their normal day of work) are also entitled to a paid day off if they work on a public holiday. This is called an alternative holiday. These public holidays are separate from and additional to annual holidays.

When can I use my sick leave?

If you’re a permanent full-time or part-time employee that works at least 40 hours each month, you’re entitled to at least 5 days of paid sick leave per 12 months after 6 months in a job. You can take sick leave if you, your partner or a dependent of yours is sick or injured.

An employer can require an employee to provide proof of sickness or injury (like a doctor’s note) if the employee is on sick leave for three consecutive days or more. Employers can still require proof if the sickness is for less than three consecutive days but they must tell the employee and pay all reasonable costs.

What happens if I don’t use all my sick leave for the year?

If you don’t use all of your sick leave during a particular year, you can carry over the unused sick leave to the following year. You can store up to 20 days of unused sick leave (unless your employment agreement allows for more) in a year.

How much bereavement leave do I get?

If you’re a permanent employee, work at least 40 hours per month and have worked for at least 6 months at your job, legally you’ll be entitled to 3 days paid bereavement leave after the death of a close family member.

A close family member includes:

  • Spouse or partner;
  • Parent;
  • Child;
  • Brother or sister;
  • Grandparent;
  • Grandchild;
  • Spouse’s or partner’s parent.

Your employer may also give 1 day’s paid bereavement leave for the death of another person outside of close family if they believe you have suffered a bereavement. Your employer can agree to more bereavement leave.

How much parental leave can I get?

To be eligible for parental leave, you have to have worked at least an average of 10 hours each week for the same employer for 6 months before the expected date of your child’s birth or adoption.

If you’re eligible, female employees are entitled to take a base amount of 18 weeks paid maternity leave and male employees are entitled to 2 weeks unpaid partner’s leave. Unpaid parental leave can also be shared between main caregivers of the child up to 26 weeks total of leave for 6 months of continued employment, and up to 52 weeks for 12 months of continued employment.

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