- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Working during treatment and recovery
- Leave entitlements
- Types of leave entitlements
Types of leave entitlements
There are 4 main types of leave available to full-time and part-time employees. Casual staff are not able to take most of these leave options. For more information about your entitlements under the National Employment Standards, see Fair Work Obudsman or check your employment contract.
Learn more about:
- Taken when you are unwell or injured, or if you need to care for an immediate family or household member.
- Permanent full-time employees have at least 10 days of paid personal leave a year.
- Part-time employees receive a pro rata (proportional) amount of personal leave based on the number of hours they work.
- Casual staff don’t get paid personal leave.
- Leave is paid at your ordinary rate of pay.
- An employer can ask for proof that you need personal leave (e.g. a medical certificate).
- Unused leave carries over from year to year (accumulates or accrues). But it is not paid out when you leave your job.
- You can take as much paid personal leave as you have built up.
- An employer cannot dismiss you from your job or take any negative action against you because you use your paid personal leave. There are protections for employees who can’t work for longer periods of time because of an illness or injury.
- Full-time and part-time employees may take 2 days of paid compassionate leave when an immediate family or household member dies or has a life-threatening illness or injury.
- Also known as holiday pay.
- Paid annual leave is a legal right for all employees except casual workers. Full-time employees receive a minimum of 4 weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with their employer. Part-time staff receive leave on a pro rata (proportional) basis.
- Annual leave is paid at the employee’s base rate of pay. Under some awards or agreements, employees are paid an increased rate (leave loading).
- Unused annual leave builds up (accumulates) over time. Your employer can ask you to take annual leave, but the request must be reasonable.
- Annual leave continues to build up when you take paid leave, but not during unpaid leave.
- An employee must apply for annual leave before taking it.
- An employer must approve annual leave unless they have reasonable grounds to refuse it.
- If you leave your employer, any unused annual leave is paid out.
Long service leave
- This is 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 7–10 years. In some cases you may be able to transfer long service leave from one employer to another (e.g. QLeave in Queensland).
- If you’ve worked for the same employer for an extended period of time and resign due to illness, you may be entitled to a pro rata long service leave payment. This may apply after 5–7 years.
- The amount of long-service leave and the lengths of service required are different depending on which state or territory you live in.
- Long service leave is paid at the employee’s base or ordinary rate of pay. In some cases, you may be able to take a longer period of leave at half-pay.
- Once you are entitled to take long service leave, any unused leave is usually paid out when you resign or change employers.
- Periods of unpaid leave do not count towards continuous service for building long service leave.
- If you have used all your paid personal leave or if you are a casual employee, your employer might let you take leave from work without pay. This is not an entitlement – it is up to your employer to allow it or not.
- Full-time and part-time employees must use all their paid personal leave before they can take unpaid carer’s leave.
- Personal and annual leave don’t build up during unpaid leave.
- All employees, including casual employees, are entitled to 2 days of unpaid carer’s leave. This leave can be taken each time a member of an employee’s immediate family or household needs care and support because of illness, injury or an emergency.
- Casual employees can take 2 days of unpaid compassionate leave when an immediate family or household member dies or has a life-threatening illness or injury.
Podcast for people affected by cancer
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
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