A Full Federal Court recently handed down a decision that confirmed that all employees (including part-time employees) are entitled to 10 “working days” of personal/carer’s leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act), regardless of how many hours the employees’ works per day or how many days are worked per week.

Section 96 of the Fair Work Act entitles employees to 10 days personal/carer’s leave per year, which accrues by reference to ordinary hours of work.

In the case, the company argued that its shift workers who worked 3 x 12 hour days per week (36 ordinary hours per week) should accrue 76 hours personal leave per year, reflecting 10 days’ worth of 7.6 ordinary hours.

The Full Court, by a 2-1 majority, rejected the company’s argument. The court instead held that all employees are entitled to 10 working days personal/carer’s leave (potential 120 hours in this situation) per year, regardless of how many hours are worked in a particular day.

How this may affect you

If you roster employees your full-time employees other than on a 5 day -7.6 hour spread of the ordinary hours, then the number of total hours of personal carer’s leave will possibly exceed 76 hours (2 weeks of 38 hours).

The case is being appealed by the company with the intervention of the Federal Government. In the meantime continue your usual arrangement with Personal Carers Leave.