Many employers could be hit with the prospect of increasing sick leave provisions and even backpaying workers, depending on the outcome of a significant Federal Court case.
“An important case is before the Federal Court relating to the meaning of the phrase ‘10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave’ in section 96 of the Fair Work Act,” Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said in a statement.
“In payroll systems, personal/carer’s leave entitlements are typically recorded in hours, not days, on the basis of the number of ordinary hours that an employee works. For example, employees who work 38 hours per week are typically credited with 76 hours of paid personal/carer’s leave per year, regardless of whether their ordinary hours are arranged on the basis of 7.6, 8, 10 or 12 hours per day.” Read the full article here.
What’s a day when it comes to sick leave?
A potential Federal Court ruling could change the way we define a sick day, basing their personal/carer’s leave on the total hours an employee was working per day, rather than as defined by Fair Work Act (38 hours a week). This could be a major change for shift workers in particular as they are more often to work 12-hour shifts, and thus would be entitled to 96 hours personal/carer’s leave per year rather than 76. If this ruling is to come into effect, it will be vital for small business owners to re-assess the rostering and scheduling of staff so they are sure what leave entitlements are owed.