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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Personal/carer’s and compassionate leave

    ​Person​al/carer’s leave

    Paid personal/carer’s leave

    Personal/carer’s leave is any time off work because you are sick or you need to care for an immediate family member. It includes both sick leave and carer’s leave.

    Sick leave is any leave that you take when you cannot go to work because you are sick or injured.

    Carer’s leave is any time off work to look after a member of your immediate family or household who is unwell or if there is an emergency.

    Under the National Employment Standards (NES), all employees (except casual employees) are entitled to paid personal/carer’s leave. If you are a full time employee you are generally entitled to 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave for each year you work. If you work part time, you are entitled to paid personal/carer’s leave on a pro rata basis. This means your leave entitlement will be a percentage of what a full-time employee would get, based on the number of hours you work.

    Personal/carer’s leave accrues on a pro rata basis. For example, if you work for six months, you will be entitled to at least five days paid personal/carer’s leave (full time employee). Any personal/carer’s leave that an employee does not take for each year they work can be added (accrue) to the next year.

    If you take personal/carer’s leave you should be paid for your ordinary hours of work at your base rate of pay.

    Icon - alert  Under the NES, casual employees are only entitled to unpaid carer’s leave or unpaid compassionate leave.

    Icon - hintYou should check your award, enterprise agreement or contract of employment to see if you are entitled to more personal/ carer’s leave than the minimum under the NES.

    Unpaid carer’s leave

    Employees (including casual employees) are entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave when a member of the employee’s immediate family or someone who lives with them, needs care or support because:

    • they are sick or injured,
    • there is an unexpected emergency. 

    Icon - alert  Generally you can not take unpaid carer’s leave if you have paid personal/carer’s leave that you could take instead.

    Compassionate leave

    Compassionate leave is any time off work to spend time with an immediate family member or member of your household who has a life threatening illness or injury. It also includes any time off work because an immediate family member or member of your household dies.

    Under the National Employment Standards (NES), all employees (except casual employees) are entitled to take up to two days paid compassionate leave for each occasion that a member of their immediate family or household needs support.

    If you take compassionate leave you should be paid for your ordinary hours of work at your base rate of pay.

    Icon - alert  Casual employees are entitled to two days unpaid compassionate leave.


    Icon - hintYou should check your award, enterprise ​agreement or contract of employment to see if you are entitled to more compassionate leave than the minimum available under the NES.

     
     

       Case study – Carlos

    Carlos has been working as a mechanic with the same employer for the last two years. Carlos’ son suffers from asthma and has had to stay home from school a number of times. Carlos needs time off work to look after him.

     

    Under the National Employment Standards, Carlos will be entitled to carer’s leave to look after his son.

    Need legal Help? Call LawAccess NW 1300 888 529

    Further information