Home - What happens if an employee is sick while they are on annual leave?

UpdatesJan 19, 2011

What happens if an employee is sick while they are on annual leave?

Quite often, we get a number of subscribers who email us wanting to know the answer to the same question. When this happens, I immediately flag those questions (and their answers!) as good ones to share with you in the Bulletin.

By Charles Power

Dear Reader,

Quite often, we get a number of subscribers who email us wanting to know the answer to the same question.

When this happens, I immediately flag those questions (and their answers!) as good ones to share with you in the Bulletin.


Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a number of subscribers asking the following question (or something very similar to this):

What happens if an employee is on annual leave but they or a member of their family get sick while they are on that leave? Do I have to change their leave from annual leave to personal/carer’s leave?

Here’s how our experts responded:

Yes. Section 89(2) of the Fair Work Act states that if the period during which an employee takes paid annual leave includes a period of any other leave (i.e. sick leave), the employee is not taken to be on paid annual leave for the period of that other leave or absence.

Therefore, you must re-credit the employee with annual leave for the duration of the illness and deduct the equivalent sum from their sick leave balance.

If you’re a subscriber to the Employment Law Practical Handbook service and you can’t find the answer you need in your handbook, you can send your question through to the Workplace Helpdesk and get a response from an expert!

For more information on this and other benefits of subscribing to the Employment Law Practical Handbook, click here.

Until next time…

Claire Berry

Claire Berry
Workplace Bulletin

And now over to our editor-in-chief Charles Power…

If you are recruiting a new employee, you might be unsure about whether you have an ongoing requirement for their services. For example, you may be considering offering them a fixed term contract for 12 months.

This would mean that, absent any agreement to the keep the employment ongoing, the contract and employment would end upon the expiry of the 12 month term without exposing you to redundancy pay, notice or dismissal claims.

However, when you are creating a fixed term employment contract, you need to be sure about what you are including.

Before creating a fixed term contract, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

Remember, in both cases, if the fixed term or maximum term contract is renewed – either deliberately or simply by both parties working on past the expiry date – then the contract is likely to convert in effect to an ongoing contract. This will attract obligations for you in respect of notice and – in cases of redundancy – severance pay.

Regards,

Charles Power

Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief
Employment Law Practical Handbook

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