Compassionate and Bereavement Leave

If you are a full-time or fixed-term employee under the Teaching Service (Tasmanian Public Sector) Award, the TasTAFE Teaching Award or the Tasmanian State Service Award you are entitled to Compassionate and Bereavement Leave.

Compassionate and Bereavement Leave is an entitlement to paid leave when a particular member of an employee’s immediate family or household has a life-threatening illness or injury and/or dies.

Definitions

‘Compassionate Leave’ is available for an employee when a member of the employee’s immediate family or household has a life-threatening illness or injury and for whom the employee is providing care or support.

‘Bereavement Leave’ is available for an employee when a member of the employee’s immediate family or household dies, to allow the employee to grieve and to attend to funeral and other arrangements due to the death.

“Immediate Family” in respect of an employee includes: spouse (including a former spouse), a significant relationship, child or adult child (including adopted child, a step child or an ex-nuptial child), parent (including foster parent or legal guardian), grandparent, grandchild, sibling or step sibling, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

What if I need Compassionate and Bereavement Leave for a person not included in the definition of “immediate family?”

The employer acknowledges that employees may have significant relationships outside of those specified above and would therefore consider an application for Compassionate and/or Bereavement Leave in those circumstances. The amount of any Compassionate and/or Bereavement Leave would be at the discretion of the employer.

How much paid leave am I entitled to?

In the event of a life-threatening illness, injury, and/or death of a particular member of the employee’s immediate family or household, an employee is entitled to Compassionate and Bereavement Leave of up to ten (10) days paid leave per year per members of the employee’s immediate family or household.

In the circumstances where an employee has had Compassionate Leave to provide care or support to a particular member of the employee’s immediate family or household and that particular member then dies, the amount of Bereavement Leave that may be approved is the balance after deducting any Compassionate Leave taken for that person.

Compassionate and Bereavement Leave may be taken in more than one period of time – Bereavement Leave must be taken within three months of the death of the person, whilst Compassionate Leave can only be taken at times directly related to providing care and support to the person.

An employee may have access to additional paid Compassionate and Bereavement Leave at the discretion of the employer.

What evidence am I required to produce?

An employee must provide evidence satisfactory to a reasonable person, to support an application for Compassionate and/or Bereavement Leave. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact your union.

Can I take un-paid Compassionate and Bereavement Leave?

Yes, an employee can take unpaid Compassionate and Bereavement Leave by agreement with the employer.

I am a causal/ relief employee with the DoE or a sessional employee at TAFE, am I entitled to paid Compassionate and Bereavement Leave?

If you work in these roles, no. The employer and employee will agree on a period for which the employee will be entitled to not be available to attend work. In the absence of agreement, the employee is entitled to not be available to attend work for up to five (5) days per annum. The employee is not entitled to any payment for the period of non-attendance.

Compassionate and Bereavement Leave does not apply when absent from work on other forms of paid leave e.g. long service leave.

References & further information