Food Services - your right to personal and sick leave

Posted on
February 17, 2023
Public Sector

You should never be discriminated against for taking legitimate leave

Personal leave is a hard-fought workplace right gained by unions, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re entitled to when accessing it.

You’re able to access personal leave if you are absent from the workplace under these conditions:

• Personal illness or injury

• To provide care or support for a member of your immediate family or household who is ill or injured

• To care for an immediate family or household member who is sick and requires your care or support due to an unexpected emergency

You can take up to 38 hours of sick leave in a year without being required to provide evidence to support this, except if you will be absent from work for three or more days in a row.

Otherwise, when accessing sick leave, you must provide your employer with evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person. Ideally this would be a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner (GP, physio, psychologist), but if you can’t get one you can make a statutory declaration that explains why you won’t be at work.        

It's important that you give an application for personal leave in writing for it to be approved.

It is not acceptable to have managers constantly calling you if you are absent due to personal leave, or to be discriminated against for taking legitimate personal leave.

If you have any further questions about what your rights are when taking personal leave or feel like you are being treated unfairly for taking it, please do not hesitate to contact HACSUassist at 1300 880 032 or

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Public Sector