AEU Member Resources

Disability Leave

What is it? 

Disability leave is a newly won Award entitlement available to an employee to enable them to be absent from duty for activities associated with their long-term physical or psychological disability.  

This includes but is not limited to: 

  • Attending an appointment with a registered health practitioner.  
  • Attending treatment, rehabilitation, therapy or counselling.  
  • Attending tests or assessments.  
  • To receive delivery of, fitting, repairing, maintaining and undergoing training in use of orthoses, prostheses, adaptive equipment, or other aids.  
  • To obtain wheelchair or other equipment or to undertake maintenance or replacement of equipment. 

Disability is defined by the Awards as a long-term physical, mental, cognitive, intellectual or sensory impairment.   

What is my entitlement as a permanent or fixed term employee? 

If you have a Disability as defined by the Awards, you are entitled to paid disability leave of up to five days per personal leave year (pro rata if you are a part-time employee).  Disability leave is paid at your normal salary and can be taken as part of a day.  It does not accumulate and is not paid out if you cease to be employed. 

Disability leave is credited on the first day of your appointment and is replaced with a new credit on the date your next personal leave year commences.   

The period of leave you access can be greater than the duration of the activity or appointment to allow for travel time and recovery.  

If you are unable to attend work due to illness related to your disability you can use personal leave.  

What is my entitlement as a relief or casual employee? 

Relief / casual employees with a disability are entitled to leave work or not be available to attend work, for the purposes of Disability leave but are not entitled to be paid during this time.  

The employer cannot refuse to re-engage you as a relief employee because you have accessed the entitlement. 

How do I access the leave? 

If you are eligible for Disability leave, you need to give your manager notice at the earliest reasonable opportunity of your request for leave and the length of leave required.  

Your application for leave needs to have supporting documentary evidence where appropriate. This might include a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner, a written referral from a registered health practitioner, a statutory declaration, or other reasonable form of documentation.  

If you are a relief / casual employee with a Disability, you and your manager need to agree on the period you will not be available to attend work. In the absence of agreement, you are entitled to not be available to attend work for up to one working day each time.  

What do I do if I have a problem accessing my leave? 

If you have difficulties accessing your entitlement, speak to your manager and show them this fact sheet.  If you still have concerns, get in contact with the AEU on 6234 9500 or at 

If you need help?

  • You have started with the Fact sheet, well done and thankyou any feedback is appreciated.
  • Talk to your workplace rep/delegate.
  • Talk to your workplace’s AEU Organiser.
  • Contact our support team, links below.

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