Home' HR Monthly : HRM HRM06 DecJan 2015 Contents December 2014/January 2015 HRMonthly 55
December 2014/January 2015 HRMonthly 55
Each month, we tap into the AHRI:ASSIST resource centre and find
the most topical questions members are asking. This month, just in
time for the holiday break, we take a look at annual leave.
An employee wants to take
unpaid leave to go on a holiday,
but the person hasn’t accrued
sufficient leave. Do I have to
approve this? What do I do if the employee
threatens to take the leave anyway?
You don’t have to approve unpaid leave for employees wanting a
holiday. If they threaten to take the leave anyway, you can warn them
that you will terminate their employment if they take an unauthorised
absence from work. You could offer to advance them paid annual
leave on condition that they authorise you to deduct the advance from
whatever is otherwise owed to them should their employment end
before they accrue the amount of leave advanced.
Q ANEMPLOYEE HAS TAKEN APPROVED ANNUAL LEAVE AND FALLEN
ILL DURING THIS PERIOD. SHOULD THE PERSON BE PAID ANNUAL
LEAVE OR PERSONAL LEAVE FOR THAT PERIOD?
Employees are not entitled to take personal leave during paid annual leave.
Q WHAT FACTORS ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN DETERMINING
WHETHER AN EMPLOYER CAN ‘REASONABLY’ REFUSE A
REQUEST FOR ANNUAL LEAVE?
This is not defined in the Fair Work Act. However, it would depend
on the notice the employee has given of the intention to take leave,
the notice the employer has given of the refusal, the grounds for the
refusal and the impact the refusal will have on the employee.
Q DOES AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ABSENT FROM WORK AND RECEIVING
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PAYMENTS ACCRUE ANNUAL LEAVE
DURING THIS TIME?
Yes, if the compensation is paid under Commonwealth or
Queensland workers’ compensation legislation. In other cases, no.
Q CAN I DIRECT MY EMPLOYEES TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE AND, IF SO,
IN WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES?
You can require employees to take annual leave if the requirement
is reasonable. Factors determining whether it’s reasonable include
the reasons for imposing the requirement and the notice given.
It will be reasonable during Christmas shutdowns or when
accrual is excessive (provided employees understand when
leave is excessive and are given reasonable warning that they
need to run down accrual).
Modern awards and enterprise agreements often provide
clauses dealing with directions to take annual leave, which
should be consulted when considering a directive of this nature.
Q WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY LEAVE LOADING?
Yo u need to check whether this entitlement arises
under a modern award, enterprise agreement or employment
contract. If there is such an entitlement, you would normally
have to pay this when the employee takes approved annual
leave, as well as on unused accrued leave paid out on
termination of employment.
Q ANEMPLOYEE BOOKED ANNUAL LEAVE SOME TIME AGO
TO VISIT HER MOTHER OVERSEAS. HER MOTHER IS NOW
TERMINALLY ILL AND THE EMPLOYEE WISHES TO TAKE A
PORTION OF HER LEAVE AS COMPASSIONATE LEAVE AS HER
MOTHER MIGHT NOT LIVE PAST CHRISTMAS (ALTHOUGH SHE
MIGHT ALSO SURVIVE). THE EMPLOYEE’S MANAGER DOESN’T
THINK THE SITUATION IS URGENT ENOUGH TO QUALIFY FOR
COMPASSIONATE LEAVE. DO YOU HAVE ANY GUIDANCE?
Given the circumstances, compassionate leave is reasonable
in this situation. Under the Fair Work Act, employees are
entitled to two days compassionate leave for each occasion
that a member of their immediate family or household
passes away or suffers a serious illness or injury. It would
appear that this situation qualifies as a serious illness.
NEED EXTRA INFORMATION?
IF YOU HAVE AN HR ISSUE THAT YOU NEED GUIDANCE OR SUPPORT ON HEAD TO
THE AHRI:ASSIST RESOURCE CENTRE AT AHRI.COM.AU/ASSIST FOR INFORMATION
SHEETS, CHECKLISTS, GUIDELINES, TEMPLATES AND MUCH MORE.
AHRI:ASSIST IS AN INFORMATION SERVICE. Readers should seek fur ther
professional advice if required. See the AHRI:ASSIST terms and conditions on
the AHRI website for more information.
19/11/14 5:04 PM
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