Employees can take leave for many reasons, including to go on a holiday, because they are sick or to take care of sick family members.

Minimum leave entitlements for employees come from the National Employment Standards (NES) Link opens external website in new tab. An award, registered agreement Link opens external website in new tab or contract of employment can provide for other leave entitlements but they can’t be less than what’s in the NES.

You can test your knowledge on leave entitlements with the Fair Work Ombudsman's (FWO) Workplace Basics quiz Link opens external website in new tab, which will also give you feedback and links to helpful resources on leave entitlements.

Annual leave

Annual leave (also known as holiday pay) allows an employee to be paid while having time off from work.

The entitlement to annual leave comes from the National Employment Standards (NES) Link opens external website in new tab.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements Link opens external website in new tab can't offer less than the NES but they can give more annual leave.

More about annual leave ↗

Sick & carer's leave

Sick and carer's leave (also known as personal leave or personal / carer's leave) lets an employee take time off to help them deal with personal illness, caring responsibilities and family emergencies.

Sick leave can be used when an employee is ill or injured.

An employee may have to take time off to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or help during a family emergency. This is known as carer's leave but it comes out of the employee's personal leave balance.

More about sick & carer's leave ↗

Compassionate & bereavement leave

All employees (including casual employees) are entitled to compassionate leave (also known as bereavement leave).

Compassionate leave can be taken when a member of an employee's immediate family or household:

  • dies or
  • suffers a life-threatening illness or injury.

Immediate family is an employee's:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling, or a
  • child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee's spouse or de facto partner.

This definition includes step-relations (eg. step-parents and step-children) as well as adoptive relations.

Employees will be able to take compassionate leave for other relatives (eg. cousins, aunts and uncles) if they are a member of the employee's household, or if the employer agrees to this.

More about compassionate and bereavement leave ↗

Public holidays

Public holidays can be different depending on the state or territory you work in.

It's important to know when public holidays are because employees can get different entitlements on these days.

You can calculate these entitlements using the FWO's Pay Calculator Link opens external website in new tab

Go to the FWO's List of public holidays page Link opens external website in new tab for a full list of public holidays in your state or territory.

More about public holidays ↗

Maternity & parental leave

Employees can get parental leave when a child is born or adopted. Parental leave entitlements include:

  • maternity leave
  • paternity and partner leave
  • adoption leave
  • special maternity leave
  • a safe job and no safe job leave
  • a right to return to old job.

More about maternity and parental leave ↗

Long service leave

An employee gets long service leave after a long period of working for the same employer.

Most employees' entitlement to long service leave comes from long service leave laws in each state or territory. These laws set out:

  • how long an employee has to be working to get long service leave (eg. after 7 years)
  • how much long service leave the employee gets.

In some states and territories long serving casuals are eligible for long service leave.

More about long service leave ↗

Community service leave

Employees, including casual employees, can take community service leave for certain activities such as:

  • voluntary emergency management activities
  • jury duty (including attendance for jury selection).

With the exception of jury duty, community service leave is unpaid. To find out more visit Jury duty Link opens external website in new tab

More about community service leave ↗

Workers' compensation

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance payment to employees if they are injured at work or become sick due to their work.

Workers' compensation includes payments to employees to cover their:

  • wages while they're not fit for work
  • medical expenses and rehabilitation.

Employers in each state or territory have to take out workers' compensation insurance to cover themselves and their employees.

More about workers' compensation ↗

    Leave calculator

    The Leave Calculator calculates:

    • annual leave
    • annual leave loading
    • sick and carer's leave

    You can use the Leave Calculator to find out how much annual or sick / carer's leave has accumulated under your award or under the National Employment Standards (NES).

    More about the leave calculator ↗

    Get help with leave

    Get help finding the answers to your questions about annual leave, sick leave and other types of leave.

    More about getting help with leave ↗

    Need more information?

    For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry@abcc.gov.au.