Annual leave in Australia

Australia‘s standard entitlement is four weeks per year, after the first year with a company. The first year’s annual leave is pro-rated for the amount of time with the company. Most public employees or ‘servants’ receive five weeks of annual leave. In addition, the standard working week in Australia is 38.5 hours.

Casual workers receive higher rates of hourly pay to compensate for the lack of annual leave, whereas those who work part-time, such as students, are given a pro-rated amount of annual leave based on the hours worked.

A typical allowance for sick leave is 10 days, and one or two days for compassionate leave. Public servants, again, typically receive more generous benefits. Leave days tend to carry forward, however sick leave is rarely paid out in the case of a worker leaving a company.

Long Service Leave (LSL) is often available to encourage workers to stay long-term with a company, as they are paid out after 10 years. LSL is accrued for all workers, from full-time to causal. It accrues at a rate of one week for every 60 weeks of employment with a single employer. This means, in most cases, that you could expect to receive around 13 weeks of leave after 15 years of employment.

Each of Australia’s states establishes its own list of paid public holidays, which are allocated to employees on top of their minimum four weeks of annual leave. Annual leave is exclusive of public holidays. Therefore any public holidays falling within a period of annual leave must be added to the leave.

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