Update – Federal Court decision on personal/carer’s leave

In September we advised that the Federal Court had handed down a landmark decision dealing with the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave. This decision revised the interpretation of the amount of leave that employees are entitled to.

Under the new interpretation, personal/carer’s leave accrual increases for some part time employees. For example, a part time employee working one 7.6 hour day per week, under a pro-rata system was previously entitled to 15.2 hours (2 days) annually of personal/carer’s leave. Under this revised interpretation, they would be entitled to 10 days (76 hrs). See our news post for a refresher on the full detail.

The Government has now confirmed that it will appeal to the High Court to overturn the Federal Court decision. We are yet to see the outcome of this appeal, so it seems that employers remain in a holding pattern for now.

However, as per our September update, the Federal Court decision is currently legally binding and organisations are being encouraged to review their arrangements for the accrual, taking, and payment of personal/carer’s leave, to ensure they are consistent with this recent interpretation. The Government’s FairWork Ombudsman guidance page has been updated to reflect this decision.

Further info:

Fair Work Ombudsman guidance
Full Federal Court decision

2019-12-16T00:27:18+00:00 November 16th, 2019|NFP sector|