Personal Leave Decision Overturned

Important Update around the 2019 industrial relations decision that redefined how personal leave was accrued and taken.

Back in October 2019 a decision was handed down in the Mondelez v AMWU [2019] case that redefined Personal Leave. The effect of the Decision saw all full-time and part-time employees being entitled to accrue 10 days of Sick Leave for each year of employment and the crux of the issue was the interpretation of the word ‘day’.

Of such significance was this decision, that the Federal Government itself launched an appeal process. This was due to the significant deviation from current and widespread personal leave accrual practices, most significantly impacting shift workers and part time employees. These impacts opened businesses to the risk of employees making underpayment claims for personal leave entitlements they should have accrued in the past and the impact of creating significant inequities between employees.

Last week however….

the High Court handed down its decision, which confirmed the traditionally understood method of personal leave accrual would be legally reinstated. Most notably relevant for a part time employee, this means personal leave will again be accrued on a pro rata basis, with shift workers also impacted.

The entitlement to 10 days of paid personal/carers leave can therefore be calculated as 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a year.

Businesses who took action to comply with the legal position due to the Federal Court’s initial determination, should immediately take action to ensure their systems are in accordance with the corrected legal position.

Never a dull day in HR!

Feel free to reach out if you want to talk further, particularly if you need to rectify your accrual leave method and need support to manage conversations with employees who may be impacted.

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