Employee leave entitlements such as personal leave and annual leave are entrenched in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("Fair Work Act"). Most employers and employees are very familiar with these entitlements. However, the Fair Work Act also provides further clarification that may not be quite so well known.
Section 89(2) of the Fair Work Act provides that if an employee's period of paid annual leave includes any other leave, other than unpaid parental leave, the employee is not taken to be on paid annual leave during the period that the other leave applies.
This means, for example, if an employee falls ill while they are on holiday, those days are counted as sick leave rather than as annual leave. It is important for both employees and employers to be aware of this section of the Fair Work Act.
If an employee becomes unwell while they are on annual leave, they should notify their employer and change the classification of the days that they are unwell from paid annual leave to sick leave. Section 89 does not apply to casuals as they do not receive an entitlement to paid annual leave.