Sick Leave Calculations

On 21 August 2019, the Full Federal Court of Australia gave a decision that impacts on how all employers calculate their employees’ sick leave (called personal leave / carers leave under the legislation).

Many employers (and their payroll systems) have traditionally calculated this in terms of hours, rather than days. This will not be sufficient going forward (unless an appeal is successfully made to the High Court who change the position, or the government enacts legislation to change the position).

The Court has stated that sick leave must be calculated in days (and part days) not hours. That is, irrespective if your employee’s ‘day’ is a 4 hours shift, or 7.5, or 12, their entitlement to sick leave is for the day (or a part of the day), not any specific hours.

The case had some very complicated discussion, arguments and findings, which are beyond this quick note, however I am happy to discuss with you directly if you have any questions.

*The relevant case is Mondalez v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138 and can be read here: https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/full/2019/2019fcafc0138