This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.
If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
About this page:
- This page provides general information on sick leave entitlements based on the minimum entitlements for employees covered by the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act.
- WA awards may specify additional requirements relating to payment for sick leave and how and when sick leave is taken by employees. Visit the WA award summaries page for information on award requirements.
Full time and part time employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Casuals are not entitled to paid sick leave.
Carer’s leave is available to full time, part time and casual employees. Full time and part time employees may use a portion of their paid sick leave as carer's leave. For casual employees, carer's leave is unpaid. For more information, see 'How much carer's leave do employees get?' below.
There is an exclusion from the minimum sick leave entitlement and other provisions of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act for award free workers in the following categories:
- people engaged in providing domestic service, including in-home care, in a private home, where employed directly by the owner or occupier of the home;
- people who receive a disability support pension and are supported by a supported employment service; and
- people paid wholly by commission or piece rates.
Sick leave entitles an employee to paid time off work for either sickness or injury to themselves. Only full time and part time employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Casual employees are not entitled to paid sick leave.
Carer’s leave entitles an employee to take time off work to care for a member of their family or household who requires care or support because they are sick, injured or affected by an unexpected emergency. The time off may be paid, depending upon the employee’s actual entitlement - see ‘How much carer’s leave do employees get?’ below.
A member of the family or household means any of the following people:
- the employee’s spouse or de facto partner;
- a child, step child or grandchild of the employee (including an adult child, step child or grandchild);
- a parent, step parent or grandparent of the employee;
- a sibling of the employee; or
- any other person who, at or immediately before the relevant time lived with the employee as a member of the employee’s household.
Employees can take sick leave in either whole or part days depending upon the particular circumstances.
Full time and part time employees are entitled to paid sick leave equivalent to the number of hours they would ordinarily work in a two week period – up to a maximum of 76 hours per year.
Sick leave is a cumulative entitlement, which means that any unused sick leave is carried over and added to the next year’s entitlement.
A full time or part time employee is entitled to use paid sick leave to care for a member of their family or household who requires care or support because they are sick, injured or affected by an unexpected emergency.
In the first year of employment, a full time or part time employee can use any paid sick leave that they have accrued to date for caring purposes.
In the second and subsequent years of employment, a full time employee can only use a maximum of 76 hours of their accrued sick leave entitlement for caring purposes, or a part time employee the relevant proportion of 76 hours based on their ordinary hours of work.
An employee is entitled to up to two days of unpaid carer’s leave per occasion if an employee does not have sufficient paid leave accrued or has exceeded the maximum amount of carer’s leave that can be taken in any 12 month period.
Casual employees can access up to two days unpaid carer's leave per occasion.
Sick leave accrues on a weekly basis and can be calculated based on how many weeks an employee has worked - For example:
- a full time employee accrues 1.461 hours of sick leave for each completed week of work (based on the standard 38 hour week); and
- a part time employee will accrue the relevant proportion of 1.461 hours of sick leave for each completed week of work, based on how many hours they have worked that week.
Wageline's Sick leave calculation guide provides an overview of how to work out sick leave entitlements for full time and part time employees.
No. Sick leave is a cumulative entitlement which means that if the employee does not use up their full entitlement in any one year, the leftover portion is carried over and added to the next year’s entitlement.
An employer can require an employee to provide reasonable evidence before they are paid for any time off work on sick leave or carer’s leave.
Reasonable evidence may include a medical certificate, but is not necessarily limited to this – for example if the employee comes to work with a cast on their arm, or the employer actually sent an employee home because they looked ill, or the employer was present when the employee received a phone call to pick up their child up from school due to illness, then any of these examples could count as reasonable evidence.
In most circumstances, if an employee has used up all of their sick leave then they are not entitled to be paid for any further time they have off work for illness, injury or carer’s leave. There are a limited number of WA awards that provide for annual leave to be used in situations where sick leave has been exhausted.
Please contact Wageline if you have further questions about sick leave obligations.