Compassionate leave is an entitlement under the National Employment Standards (NES) for all employees under the national system. Compassionate leave is for employees when a member of their immediate family or a member of the their household contracts a personal illness or injury that poses a serious threat to his or her life, or dies. The compassionate leave provisions of the NES should be read in conjunction with any compassionate leave provisions in an applicable Award or contract of employment where they are more beneficial than the provisions of the NES.

Entitlement to Compassionate Leave

A full-time or part-time employee is entitled to two (2) days paid compassionate leave for each permissible occasion. A casual employee is entitled to two (2) days unpaid leave compassionate leave for each permissible occasion.

Definition of Immediate Family Member

The entitlement to take compassionate leave relates to a member of the employee’s immediate family or a member of the employee’s household. Under s.12 of the Fair Work Act, reference to “immediate family” means a spouse, de-facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee, or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a spouse or de-facto partner of the employee. Reference to “de-facto partner” means a person who, although not legally married to the employee, lives with the employee in a relationship as a couple on a genuine domestic basis (whether same sex or different sexes), and includes a former de-facto partner of the employee.

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Disclaimer

The information provided in this knowledge base article is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.

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