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Cashing Out Personal & Carer's Leave: Timber & Stevedoring Awards

australian capital territory employee rights enterprise agreement fair work hr compliance leave and entitlements new south wales northern territory queensland south australia tasmania victoria western australia Oct 19, 2023

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), it is, in fact, illegal to allow an employee to cash out their accrued personal & carer's leave as a 'bonus' or 'employee benefit'. The NES outlines the minimum entitlements and conditions of employment for all workers in Australia. Section 100 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (which outlines employee conditions in line with the NES) states that:

  • "Paid personal/carer’s leave must not be cashed out except in accordance with permitted cashing out terms"


HOWEVER - there are two Awards that allow for the cashing out of personal & carer's leave. These are:

  • Timber Industry Award 2010
  • Stevedoring Industry Award 2010
    • It is important to check the relevant Award to have a clear understanding of the requirements surrounding the 'cashing out' of personal & carers' leave as these Awards may have very strict provisions around when this can be done.


If an employee is covered by an approved enterprise agreement that permits cashing out of personal & carer's leave, they would not be in breach of the NES or any other relevant legislation.


Interestingly, an employee who has cashed out some or all of their personal & carer's leave, from a legal standpoint, may still be able to claim this leave back at a later date if they are unable to attend work due to an injury or illness. This would be a possibility as the act of 'cashing out' the employees' personal & carers' leave does not extinguish their entitlement to receive such leave.


If you are covered by one of these Awards or have any questions about cashing out annual leave, please reach out to the Employii team at [email protected]


For more information on the provisions around cashing out personal & carer's leave, check out the Fair Work website here.

Author: Chelsea Finlay (HR Officer).