Illness and death are aspects of life every person will have to deal with during. It can be a very difficult time for those involved, especially if the death or illness is unexpected. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with bereavement and compassionate leave.
  • Under the National Employment Standards, compassionate leave is an entitlement that is separate to personal/carer’s leave.
  • All employees, whether they be casual, part-time or full-time, are entitled to two paid days’ leave when a member of their household or immediate family member contracts an illness or injury that is life-threatening, or dies.
  • Immediate family members include:
    • Spouse
    • De facto partner
    • Child
    • Sibling
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Or if the above are the same relation to the spouse or partner of the employee.
  • An employee can take two days’ paid leave on each ‘permissible occasion’, e.g. if an immediate family member is diagnosed with an illness and are not given long to live, an employee would be entitled to use two days’ leave to visit them during their illness, and, if they were to pass away, could take another two days’ for the funeral or memorial service.
  • There is no cap to the amount of compassionate leave an employee can take.
  • Absence from the workplace on compassionate leave is not deducted from an employee’s annual personal/carer’s leave allocation.

Keep in mind that this can be a very difficult time for your employees, especially if the injury, illness or death is sudden or unexpected. Being kind and understanding to your employees will nurture a positive workplace culture and ultimately give your organisation a positive reputation.

For more information on compassionate leave contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or

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