Global Compliance Desk – Australia

Recent Federal Court Decision: Accrual of Personal/Carer’s Leave

Most employers in Australia follow the practice of calculating personal/carer’s leave entitlements in hours.

On 21 August 2019, the Federal Court of Australia handed down a decision in Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138 which deals with the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave for the purposes of the National Employment Standards under the Fair Work Act 2009.

The Mondelez Case

Mondelez sought a declaration from the Court that entitlements to personal/carer’s leave under its enterprise agreement were more beneficial than under the Fair Work Act.  Mondelez employs permanent full-time staff in a “standard pattern” of 7.2 hours a day, five days per week and a “shift-work pattern” of 12 hours a day, three shifts per week.

The Decision by Federal Court

In the decision, the majority of the Full Federal Court determined:

  • Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to 10 working days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of employment.
  • The leave protects those employees’ income when they are entitled to be absent from work due to illness or injury (or providing care or support to a family or household member who is ill, injured or suffering from an unexpected emergency).
  • 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.
  • An employee’s entitlement is expressly based upon the time worked for the employer and is expressly calculated in days.
  • For every day of personal/carer’s leave taken, an employer deducts a day from the employee’s accrued leave balance. If an employee takes a part-day of leave, then an equivalent part-day is deducted from the employee’s accrued leave balance.

The effect of the Court’s finding is that an employee can access up to ten working days of personal/carer’s leave for each year of service, regardless of the number of ordinary hours the employee ordinarily works on those days or their pattern of work. Based on the court decision the Fair Work Ombudsman has released advice that all permanent employees are entitled to 10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of employment.

Employers should use the Ombudsman’s advice as a starting point to review how their business currently accrues and deducts personal/carer’s leave.

Shreya Bhattacharya
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Bhattacharya
A labor and employment lawyer at Replicon who specializes in global compliance. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. Replicon is an industry leader in global compliance and has a dedicated team which pro-actively monitors international labor regulations for ensuring proper adherence with specific country rule requirements.
Get started today.
Set up a free trial based on your business needs. Start Free Trial

Polaris PSA shines brightly

By Steve Brooks - October 29, 2020 Two years and $20+ million in development costs are what it has taken to create Polaris PSA, the next generation of Replicon PSA.…Read More

Polaris Creates a New Category of Professional Services Automation

Introduces The World’s First Self-driving PSA, Delivering More Results with Less Hassle. Redwood City, CA – October 28, 2020.  – The Polaris PSA solution launched today, creating a new category…Read More

News from week beginning 19th October

By Steve Brooks - October 26, 2020 What a week, with both Workday and Sage Intacct holding conventions. Several PSA vendors announced new releases including a major update from FinancialForce.…Read More

Miscalculating wages by a few cents led to this company paying a six-figure lawsuit

West Marine Products, which operates a chain of retail stores across the United States specializing in boating supply and fishing equipment, recently settled a class action lawsuit involving 707 former…Read More

Employee time tracking is dead

iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, Proximity sensing and the obsolescence of time tracking as we know it. Businesses have to track the time their employees work for a variety of reasons,…Read More

How Sarbanes-Oxley Impacts HR Departments

Ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed in 2002, following a spate of high-profile corporate scandals, companies have had to take a wide range of precautions to ensure that…Read More
  • Polaris
  • Cloud
  • In The News
  • Corporate
  • Professional Services Management
  • Project and Program Management
  • Shared Services Management
  • Time and Attendance Management
  • Workforce Management
  • Customer Feature
  • Feature Update
  • Time Intelligence
  • Industry News
  • Webinar Recap
  • Global Compliance Updates