What You Need to Know About Compassionate and Bereavement Leave

Compassionate and Bereavement leave is offered to employees by most businesses within Australia. If your staff ask for Compassionate and Bereavement leave, here are a few things you need to know.

When can Compassionate Leave be Taken?

Compassionate and Bereavement leave may be taken when a member of the employee’s household or family dies or contracts a life-threatening illness or injury.

Applicable family members are:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling
  • child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner.

Step relations and adoptive relations of the same categories also apply. On September 10, 2021, the Fair Work Act of 2009 was updated to include miscarriage as a viable reason to take Compassionate and Bereavement leave.

How Much Compassionate and Bereavement Leave May be Taken?

Employees may take up to two days of Compassionate and Bereavement leave for any incident for which it applies. This two day period may be broken up in whatever way the employee and employer agree to.

If the employee is already on another type of leave when the incident occurs, they may substitute two days of Compassionate and Bereavement leave for two days of the other type of leave.

Payment for Compassionate and Bereavement Leave

Compassionate and Bereavement leave apply differently to different types of employment. The following receive fully paid leave at their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked during the leave.

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees

Casual employees, like contractors or freelancers, receive unpaid compassionate leave. This doesn’t include additional pay such as incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.

Notice and Evidence of Incident

Employees are asked to give notice as soon as possible, though this may be after the leave has begun. The employee must also tell their employer the expected duration of the leave.

Employers may ask for reasonable evidence of incident in order to grant leave. Evidence may include documents such as a funeral notice or statutory declaration. If evidence is requested, employees must provide the requested evidence in order to receive Compassionate and Bereavement leave.

If you have any questions or concerns about Compassionate and Bereavement leave, please us at ServoPro or if you are a ServoPro member you can contact our free HR Helpdesk to talk through this or any staff related issues.

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