This article has answers to specific questions about how paid annual leave and sick and carer’s leave accumulates, is taken and is paid. Find out about:
- leave accumulation for part time employees who work irregular hours
- accumulating leave while on leave at half pay
- accessing leave during quarantine and self-isolation
- leave accumulation for award free commission only employees and pieceworkers
- leave accumulation based on the number of hours worked.
How does leave accumulate for part time employees who work irregular hours?
Annual leave and sick and carer’s leave accumulate based on an employee’s ordinary hours of work. An employee can take paid leave once they have accumulated it.
Part time employees that are not covered by an award or registered agreement might work irregular hours. To work out their ordinary hours of work you need to:
- calculate the total number of hours worked in the last 4 weeks
- divide by 4.
What if they worked for less than 4 weeks?
You need to:
- calculate the total number of hours worked during the period
- divide by the number of completed weeks worked.
How does leave accumulate while on leave at half pay?
Some awards and agreements allow employees to take leave at half pay.
Annual leave and sick and carer’s leave will continue to accumulate based on the number of hours they would usually work.
This means an employee on leave at half pay accumulates leave as if they were on leave at full pay. The employee isn’t taking unpaid leave, they still accrue leave according to their ordinary weekly hours of work.
Temporary changes to annual leave entitlements
The Fair Work Commission varied many awards, which allowed employees to take annual leave at half pay to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Information about when this entitlement ended is available in our article on Unpaid pandemic leave.
What leave options are available during quarantine and self-isolation?
For information about accessing leave for employees who have to quarantine or self-isolate due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please see Quarantine & self-isolation: pay & leave options.
How does leave accumulate for award free commission only employees and pieceworkers?
Commission only employees and pieceworkers who aren't covered by an award or agreement accumulate annual leave and sick and carer’s leave based on the employee's ordinary hours of work.
Leave is paid at the employee’s minimum hourly rate.
An employee’s minimum hourly rate is worked out as follows:
Step 1: work out the total amount earned by the employee in a particular period.
Step 2: divide that amount by the total number of hours worked in the same period.
How is personal/carer’s leave calculated based on an employee’s hours of work?
On 13 August 2020, the High Court handed down a decision about the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards.
The entitlement to 10 days of personal/carer’s leave is calculated based on an employee’s hours of work, not days.
10 days of personal leave can be calculated as 1/26 of an employee's ordinary hours of work in a year.
Len works a 36 hour week. He works for 5 days, 7 hours and 12 minutes each day.
Joss also works a 36 hour week. However, she works 3 days for 12 hours each day.
The ordinary hours for Len and Joss are the same, so is the amount of personal / carer’s leave that each accumulates.
The ordinary hours worked by both is 1,872 hours per year. 1/26th of 1872 is 72 hours. 72 hours is the total amount of personal / carer’s leave that Len and Joss will accumulate.
If Len or Joss use some leave the number of ordinary hours that they are absent from work will be deducted from the total leave hours they have accumulated.
If Len and Joss used only full days of leave:
- Len who works for 7.2 hours per day, will have the equivalent of 10 days of 7.2 hours available to him for the year
- Joss who works for 12 hours per day will have the equivalent of 6 days of 12 hours available to her for the year.