One of my employees has asked to take some of their personal/carer’s leave so that they can provide care and support to member of their immediate family who has a serious illness and who requires their care and support.  Whilst I will be agreeing to my employee’s request, can I ask the employee to provide me with some evidence to support their request?


Yes – you can ask the employee to provide evidence.  The Fair Work legislation provides that in these circumstances, that an employee must, if required by an employer, give their employer evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that the leave is being taken for the reason specified in the legislation.  This requirement can be inserted into an employer’s personal/carer’s policy.  If you don’t have a personal/carer’s policy with this requirement in it, then ask the employee to provide the evidence when they make the request for leave.  You should always check your own personal/carer’s policy in case you have a more generous provision in your policy than the legislation with respect to providing evidence.

Also, an employer should be given notice about the taking of this leave and provided with the period or expected period of the leave as soon as practicable.  Whilst the legislation provides that notice can be provided at a time after the leave has started, you can encourage your employees to provide notice as soon as possible in your personal/carer’s leave policy and preferably before the leave commences to assist with the operational needs of your business.

What to do when your Worker’s Compensation Insurer is ineffective?

If you are having difficulty getting traction with your workers’ compensation case manager, ask to speak to their Manager or Team Leader to try and progress matters. Generally, there will be a Government agency in each state and territory who will manage any complaints about how your workers’ compensation insurer is handling the claim.  For example, in NSW it is SIRA and in Victoria it is WorkSafe Victoria – see links to their websites below:


WorkSafe VIC

Each state-based Government agency has a different process with respect to managing complaints.