Leave entitlements

There are several types of leave options available to help you balance work and treatment. The National Employment Standards (NES) outline the rules for several types of paid and unpaid leave, which apply under most awards or enterprise agreements in Australia.

Entitlements offered under awards or agreements may be different from those provided by the NES but can’t be less. You should check the terms of your agreement.

Leave options include:

Personal/carer’s leave

  • Can be taken when you are unwell or injured, or if you need to care for an immediate family or household member. It used to be called sick leave.
  • Permanent full-time employees receive a minimum of 10 days of paid personal leave each year.
  • Part-time employees receive a pro‑rata (proportional) amount of personal days based on the number of hours they work.
  • Paid personal leave is an entitlement for permanent employees only. Casual staff may be able to take unpaid leave.
  • This type of leave is paid at the employee’s base rate of pay.
  • An employer can ask you to provide evidence that you need to take personal leave (e.g. a medical certificate).
  • Unused leave days carry over from year to year (accumulate or accrue).
  • Employees can take as much leave as they have accumulated.

Annual leave

  • Also known as holiday pay.
  • Permanent employees receive a minimum of four weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with their employer. Part-time staff are paid on a pro-rata (proportional) basis. Some employees, such as shiftworkers, are entitled to five weeks of paid annual leave.
  • Annual leave is paid at the employee’s base rate of pay or at an increased rate (leave loading).
  • Unused annual leave accumulates over time. Your employer can direct to use annual leave.
  • Annual leave continues to accrue when an employee takes a period of paid leave. Leave doesn’t accumulate during periods of unpaid leave.
  • An employee must apply for annual leave before taking it.
  • An employer must approve annual leave unless the request is unreasonable.

Long service leave

  • A period of paid leave after you’ve worked continuously for the same employer for an extended period of time. This leave may apply after 7–15 years.
  • Generally, long service leave is two months of paid leave after 10 years of service, and one month of paid leave for each additional five years of service.
  • Conditions may vary depending on which state or territory you live in.
  • If you have worked at least five years with your employer and you resign due to illness, you may be entitled to a pro-rata long service leave payment.
  • Long service leave is paid at the employee’s ordinary rate of pay. In some cases you may be able to take a longer period of leave at half-pay.
  • Unused long service leave is usually paid out at the end of employment.
  • Periods of unpaid leave do not count towards continuous service for the accrual of long service leave.

Unpaid leave

  • If you have used your paid personal leave or if you are a casual employee, your employer might grant you leave from work without pay. This is not an entitlement – it is up to your employer to allow it.
  • You may have to use your annual leave before your employer allows you to take leave without pay.
  • Annual leave and personal leave do not usually accumulate when you are on unpaid leave.
  • All employees are entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave.

Managing your leave

  • If you are a new employee, ask your manager or human resources department if there is a waiting (qualifying) period for paid personal leave.
  • Check with your employer if you can cash out your annual leave and any conditions that apply. This is only possible if your award or agreement says that cashing out is allowable.
  • Give as much notice as possible before taking leave.
  • Combine personal leave with annual leave and long service leave, if necessary.
  • If you don’t have enough paid leave, ask your manager if you can take unpaid time off.
  • Know your rights. It is generally against the law to dismiss someone for taking leave for illness.
  • If you believe your employer isn’t giving you the correct amount of personal or annual leave, check your entitlements. Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.

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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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