Carer’s leave: what are your rights and responsibilities?

Posted on October 13th, 2017

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Munro v Wilmar Australia Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 2493 is a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC)  which provides guidance to employees and employers about what an employee is permitted to do while taking a period of paid carers leave. 

Specifically, the FWC considered whether an employee would be permitted to work in their own business during a period of paid carer’s leave taken in the employee’s primary employment to care for a family member.

The FWC considered that the nature of carer’s leave is different to sick leave where it is the worker who is incapacitated from performing duties.  The FWC held that an employee on carer’s leave is able to work in another role, so long as the work occurs outside of ordinary working hours. The FWC found that this is no different from a worker seeking paid carer’s leave to care for their ill child during the day when the worker is ordinarily at work, and upon the other parent returning home from work to care for the child, the worker running errands, playing sport or even working a second job. Where these other activities occur outside ordinary hours of work, and there is adequate care for the ill family member, this should be of no concern to the worker’s employer.

 

Katie ThompsonKatie Thompson is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practises in the Commercial dispute resolution and litigation team. If you require any assistance in this area please contact Katie Thompson to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle or Sydney office. 

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