Finance

What are your obligations if an employee is sick during their Christmas holiday?

Tracy Angwin /

With the Christmas holidays coming up, many employees will be taking the opportunity to take leave on the 23rd, 24th and 29th of December. But what if your employee falls ill whilst they are on leave?

Annual leave and personal/carer’s leave are two separate entitlements and dealt with differently from a payroll perspective. This means if your employee falls sick when they are on annual leave, they may be able to use personal/carer’s leave instead.

If an employee is sick during a period of annual leave they may decide to use personal/carer’s leave instead. If this is the case, they need to inform their employer as soon as possible that they are unwell. The employer may ask the employee for evidence which shows the reason they may be entitled to take personal/carer’s leave. Evidence could include a medical certificate, a statutory declaration, or any other evidence that a reasonable person would be satisfied with.

If the employee cannot provide such evidence, there is no requirement to pay the employee sick leave.

If you are satisfied that the evidentiary requirements have been met, it is simply a matter of processing the day as a sick day instead of an annual leave day – that is, if your pay period containing the personal/carer’s leave day has not already been processed.

If your payroll has already been processed for the period containing the personal/carer’s leave day, then this day would have been processed as an annual leave day. It is now a matter of simply reversing the hours deducted as annual leave and processing them as personal leave, thus “re-crediting” the employee’s annual leave balance and reducing their personal leave balance.

For further information, visit www.austpayroll.com.au.

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