Under the National Employment Standards (NES), full-time and part-time employees are entitled to take work leave for a number of different reasons.

Annual leave

Annual leave, also commonly referred to as ‘holiday pay’, allows workers to take time off while being paid. All full-time and part-time employees are entitled to 4 weeks of paid annual leave for every 12 months of continuous service. Pay for the 4 weeks will be calculated in accordance with the employee’s ordinary hours of work and will not include overtime rates, penalties, allowances, or bonuses. This means that an employee who works for 10 hours a week will accumulate 40 hours of annual leave in a year. The leave accumulates throughout the year, so as a part-time or a full-time employee you are be entitled to an amount of the 4 weeks’ leave proportional to the amount of the year that you have completed. Any unused annual leave will roll over to the next year of service.

Other considerations may include:

  • If you take any other leave (except for unpaid parental leave) during the period in which you take annual leave, you will be considered to be on that other leave and not on annual leave.
  • If a public holiday falls within the period that an employee is taking their annual leave, you will be paid for the public holiday and not paid for your annual leave on those days.
  • If you are classified as a ‘shift worker’ you are entitled to 5 weeks paid annual leave. You should refer to your Award or Agreement for more details.
  • Where reasonable, an employer may refuse your request to take annual leave or they may direct you to take some or all of your annual leave at a time chosen by them.
Personal leave, carer’s leave and compassionate leave

These types of leave are generally taken in situations where you may be unfit for work due to an illness or injury, or to provide care to a member of your immediate family or household. Immediate family includes spouses, de facto partners, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren or siblings of either the employee or the employee’s spouse or de facto partner.

Full time, permanent workers will be entitled to 10 days of paid personal or carer’s leave per year. Part time employees will be entitled to 10 days per year depending on their hours of work, calculated on a pro rata basis.

Employees, including casual employees, are entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave or compassionate leave. These types of leave apply to situations where a member of the employee’s immediate family has sustained an illness or passed away.

Long service leave

All employees, including casual workers, are entitled to long service leave at their ordinary rate of pay after they have worked for the same employer for an extended period of continuous service being, 10 years of service.

Under the Long Service Leave Act (NSW) 1955 an employee’s long service leave entitlement will be governed by the relevant awards and agreements. Employees cannot request a payout of their long service leave entitlement. However, if an employee has not taken their long service leave must be paid their long service leave entitlements on termination.

Parental leave

All employees, including casual workers, who have worked for their employer for at least twelve months are entitled to twelve months’ unpaid parental leave. The leave must be taken continuously, and cannot be broken up into separate periods.

A number of different provisions may apply depending on the particular situation of the employee. Some notable considerations include:

  • Parental leave takes account of birth-related leave, adoption-related leave and same-sex relationships.
  • Pregnant workers may begin their leave up to 6 weeks before the expected delivery date.
  • Partners that are not giving birth may only begin their leave on the date of birth of the child.
  • An employee may request an extension of up to 12 months extra leave. The employer may choose to refuse the request if there are reasonable grounds to do so and they have discussed the request with the employee.
  • An employee should give at least 10 weeks written notice before taking parental leave and inform the employer of when they intend to start and end their leave.

Has your employer rejected your leave application or has your employer taken action against you because you have exercised your right to take leave? Do you want to know your work leave rights? Please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 9331 0266 to have a free of charge discussion.