FWA has recently considered personal and carer's leave entitlements and how these impact on employers.

An employee worked as a store manager for 25 years.  The employee resigned after refusing to accept a transfer to another store because of the additional travel.  The employee requested that her resignation be effective after she took her accrued personal/carer’s leave, annual leave and long service leave to care for her mother in law who had suffered a stroke.  The employer did not consider the employee’s leave application and terminated her employment.

FWA found that the employer did not have any basis for refusing the employee’s leave request and had dismissed her to avoid providing considerable accrued leave entitlements.  FWA held that giving notice of an intention to resign on a future date after accessing personal leave is not a valid reason for termination of employment.  Further, it was not reasonable for the employer to accept the conditional resignation on different terms.  Accordingly, the dismissal was unfair.

FWA held the employee’s loss was the value of her accrued and untaken personal leave and adjourned the matter to allow the employer to calculate this amount. 

Isabel Nohra v Target Australia Pty Ltd [2011] FWA 2534