In the first two blogs of this series, we explained the recommended changes to the Holidays Act in general, and the definition of gross earnings. So we know that annual leave will still be required to be calculated in weeks, FBAPS leave in days, and that ALL earnings will be included in gross earnings with no distinction as to whether they are discretionary or not.
Bereavement, Sick and Family Violence (FBS) leave
There are some big changes to Bereavement, Sick and Family Violence leave, starting with employees’ entitlement to receive this leave. Currently employees become eligible for FBS leave after 6 months continuous employment, moving forward, this leave will be available earlier for employees and it will differ for different leave types. There is a new consideration of employees with “agreed hours” and an “expectation of continuous employment”. For those employees, leave will be available:
- Bereavement and family violence leave – available from the first day of employment
- Sick leave – one day is available from the first day of employment building up to the full entitlement after four months
For employees who do not have agreed hours and expectation of continuous employment, an “hours test” will apply after 13 weeks. Simply put, if an employee works on average 10 hours or greater over the preceding 13 weeks they become eligible for Bereavement, Sick and Family Violence leave. If they do not, the test must be repeated in another 13 weeks.
Notwithstanding all of this, ALL employees will be eligible for Bereavement, Sick and Family Violence leave after six months.
Bereavement leave will be further expanded so that three days are available, not just for immediate family, but for stepfamily, family-by-marriage not already included (such as step-children), cultural family groups and aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.