Payroll Industry welcomes High Court’s judgement regarding personal/carer’s leave accruals

The High Court of Australia has today granted the appeals by Mondelez International and the Australian Government regarding the entitlement to personal/carer’s leave in the Mondelez v AMWU case. This effectively means that the long held standard industry practice regarding personal/carer’s leave accruals has been confirmed by the High Court, and that the decision handed down by the full Federal Court in August 2019 has been overturned.

‘This outcome will come as a major relief to employers and payroll professionals’ says Tracy Angwin, CEO of Australian Payroll Association.
‘The original decision would have placed significant additional financial burden on companies, and also created a disparity in entitlements for part-time employees, and a level of complexity that could lead to employer’s reconsidering flexible working arrangements. We are pleased to see that the historical understanding of personal leave accruals has been upheld’.
A summary issued by the High Court of Australia states ‘
A majority of the High Court rejected the “working day” construction and instead held that what is meant by a “day” or “10 days” must be calculated by reference to an employee’s ordinary hours of work. “10 days” in s 96(1) is two standard five-day working weeks. One “day” refers to a “notional day” consisting of one-tenth of the equivalent of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a two-week period.
Because patterns of work do not always follow two-week cycles, the entitlement to “10 days” of paid personal/carer’s leave can be calculated as 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a year”.
Read the Summary of the High Court Judgement here.
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