The Full Bench of the Federal Court has made a recent decision dealing with the method of accruing and taking paid
personal/carer’s leave for the purposes of the National Employment Standards(NES).
The decision may yet be subject to an appeal to the High Court.The decision confirms that, under the NES, employees are entitled to ten working
days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of employment. The leave must
be calculated in working days, not hours. A working day is the portion of a 24-hour period that an employee would otherwise be working.It is important to note that a 'day' of leave is not a 'notional day' based on
an employee’s average daily ordinary hours over a five day working week. This
concept is of direct relevance to part-time employees, who would generally work
on average less than 7.6 hours per day. If an employee works a different number
of hours from day to day, a day of personal leave could vary to reflect that.
For example, if an employee works four hours on a Monday and eight hours on a Tuesday,
a day of personal leave on a Monday is four hours and on a Tuesday is eight hours.
Therefore, an hourly rate of leave would be paid to the employee that reflected
the hours scheduled to be worked on that day.The Fair Work Ombudsman’s site has information setting out how personal/carer’s
leave is accrued by employees and how it is calculated, paid and deducted by
employers. NDS members are encouraged to frequently monitor their personnel policies and
procedures to ensure they comply with relevant industrial relations