Case study: Carer's leave and annual leave

Tom took carer's leave from work to look after his father who was seriously ill. He took 78 weeks which was most of his entitlement. On his return to work, he was discussing annual leave with his employer. His employer said that, as he understood it, employees cannot take annual leave in the same calendar year the carer's leave ends. Is this correct or not?

Answer

Tom's employer is incorrect. Provided Tom has accumulated sufficient hours of work, he is entitled to take annual leave, even if this occurs in the same calendar year as his carer's leave ends. Only the first 13 weeks however of the period spent on carer's leave count towards establishing entitlement to annual leave. In the same way, Tom only has rights in respect of public holidays falling in the first 13 weeks of his carer's leave.

The maximum period of carer's leave is 104 weeks. If Tom's father becomes ill again, Tom can apply for the balance of his carer's leave. He is entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks provided there is a gap of at least 6 weeks between the two periods of carer's leave.

Page edited: 5 February 2015