Your questions answered: Does carer’s leave cover time spent with a grandmother in palliative care?

By Portner Press on November 25th, 2019
  1. Employee Management
  2. Leave Provisions

We have an employee who believes he was entitled to use carer’s leave while spending time with his grandmother while she was in palliative care in hospital.

He was granted two days of compassionate leave, but ended up taking a further three days off which he claimed was carer’s leave.

The hospital provided him with a certificate for the time. While we granted the carer’s leave, I would like a legal view on whether this is genuinely carer’s leave.

Under the NES, an employee is entitled to receive paid or unpaid leave to provide care and support to a member of the employee’s immediate family or a member of the employee’s household (carer’s leave). An employee who takes carer’s leave may do so because:

  • a member of their immediate family or household has a personal illness or injury; or
  • a member of their immediate family or household is affected by an unexpected emergency.

For the purposes of personal/carer’s leave, members of the immediate family or household may be a:

  • parent;
  • grandparent;
  • grandchild;
  • sibling;
  • spouse or former spouse, i.e. legal husband or wife of an employee;
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner, i.e. a person who lives with the employee in a relationship as a couple on a genuine domestic basis but is not legally married to the employee; or
  • child.

An employee taking carer’s leave to provide care to their grandmother while she is in palliative care would generally be valid as it satisfies the above requirements.

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