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Australia Leave Laws – Vacation Tracker


There are 8 countries and territories in Australia: Australian Capital Territories, New South Wales, Northern Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia. 

Here are given National Holidays observed in most countries and territories, for more information about a specific country or the territory go to https://publicholidays.com.au/2021-dates/ 

  • 1st January – New Year’s Day
  • 26th January – Australia Day
  • 2nd April – Good Friday
  • 3rd April – Day following Good Friday (except TAS and WA)
  • 5th April – Easter Monday
  • 25th April – Anzac Day
  • 26th April – Anzac Day Holiday (except NSW, TAS, and VIC)
  • 14th June – Queen’s Birthday (except QLD and WA)
  • 25th December – Christmas Day
  • 26th December – Boxing Day (except SA)
  • 27th December – Christmas Holiday
  • 28th December – Boxing Day Holiday (except SA)

Paid Time Off

PTO (Paid Time Off)

  • Vacation/Annual Paid Leave

Australia has a highly regulated employment system with a complex framework of requirements that differ between occupations and industries, and in some respects, between states and territories.

The National Employment Standards (NES), contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), set out minimum entitlements which apply to all employees.

All the employees are entitled to up to 4 weeks of paid annual leave, or 5 weeks if they are shift workers.

Accrual of Annual Leave

Employees start to accrue their annual leave when they join the company. It builds up after each pay period. Employees can take annual leave at any time after it has been accrued, and annual leave will continue to accrue while they are on any form of paid leave.

  • Use-it-or-lose-it policy Not specified by Law.
  • PTO payout at the termination

If the employees stop working for the employer before they have used their annual leave, employers are required to pay out the sum of their accrued leave at the end of their employment.

Maternity Leave, Child Raising Leave, Parental Leave

Maternity and Parental Leave

Employees who have been employed for at least 12 months are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid leave and additional 12 months of leave on request. Leave can be taken after:

  • an employee gives birth
  • an employee’s spouse or de facto partner gives birth

Adoption Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid leave and 12 additional months of leave on request if they adopt a child under 16 years of age and up to 2 days of unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend relevant interviews or examinations.

Special Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to take unpaid special maternity leave if she has a pregnancy-related illness, or when her pregnancy ends after at least 12 weeks due to a miscarriage or termination. The leave will end when the pregnancy or illness ends, whichever is earlier.

The employer may require a medical certificate.

Parental Leave for Stillbirth, Premature birth or Infant Death

Employees are entitled to take up to 12 months of unpaid leave due to stillbirth, or the death of a child during the first 24 months of life.

Employees can choose to return to work after experiencing a stillbirth or the death of a child. If they decide to return to work after starting unpaid parental leave, they need to give their employer at least 4 weeks’ written notice before returning.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave

Employees who are unable to work due to a personal injury or illness including stress and pregnancy-related illnesses are entitled to up to 10 days of paid sick leave. 

Carer’s Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 10 days of paid leave when they have to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or help during a family emergency.

Immediate family members are spouse or a former spouse, de facto partner or former one, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner (or former ones).

Employees may have to give notice or evidence to get paid for sick and carer’s leave.

Family and Domestic Violence Leave

All employees are entitled to up to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.

Jury Duty Leave, and Voting Leave

An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they are engaged in the activity and for reasonable travel and rest time. There is no limit on the amount of community service leave an employee can take.

Leave can be taken for voluntary emergency management activities and jury duty, including for jury selection.

Notice of absence is required.

Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 2 days of paid leave due to a death of immediate family or a life-threatening illness or injury.

Compassionate leave can be taken as:

  • a single continuous 2- day period, or
  • 2 separate periods of 1 day each, or
  • any separate periods the employee and the employer agree.

Military Leave

Not specified by law.


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Australia Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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