Compassionate & Bereavement Leave

The National Employment Standards provide all employees, including casuals, with an entitlement to compassionate leave (also known as bereavement leave).

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can also provide additional entitlements to compassionate leave.

When can compassionate leave be taken

Employees can take compassionate leave if:

  • a member of their immediate family or household dies, or contracts or develops a life-threatening illness or injury
  • a baby in their immediate family or household is stillborn
  • they have a miscarriage
  • their current spouse or de facto partner has a miscarriage.

More information is available about Parental leave for stillbirth, premature birth or infant death.

Immediate family

An employee’s immediate family includes their:

  • spouse or former spouse
  • de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • child
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling.

Immediate family also includes:

  • the immediate family of the employee’s spouse or de facto partner (or former spouse or de facto partner)
  • step-relations (for example, step-parent and step-child)
  • adoptive relations.

Employees can take compassionate leave for other relatives (for example, cousins, aunts and uncles) if they are a member of the employee’s household or if their employer agrees.

Amount of compassionate leave

Employees are entitled to 2 days compassionate leave each time they meet the criteria.

Employees can take compassionate leave as:

  • a single continuous 2 day period
  • 2 separate periods of 1 day each
  • any separate periods as agreed with their employer.

Employees don’t accumulate compassionate leave and it’s not a part of their sick and carer’s leave entitlement. Employees can take compassionate leave any time they need it.

If an employee is already on another type of leave (for example, annual leave) and needs to take compassionate leave, they can use compassionate leave instead of the other leave.

Payment for compassionate leave

Full-time and part-time employees receive paid compassionate leave. They’re paid at their base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked during the leave.

This doesn’t include separate entitlements such as incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.

Casual employees receive unpaid compassionate leave.

Compassionate leave can’t be cashed out.

Notice and evidence

An employee taking compassionate leave has to give their employer notice as soon as they can (this may be after the leave has started). The employee has to tell the employer how much leave they are taking, or expect to take, and when.

An employer can request evidence about the reason for compassionate leave (for example, a death or funeral notice or statutory declaration). This request for evidence has to be reasonable. If the employee doesn’t provide the requested notice or evidence they may not get compassionate leave.

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.12 and 104-106  

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

School Leaver Apprenticeship Program

Thank you for your interest in our Master Builders Programs. By filling out this online form a Master Builders recruitment team member will respond within 48 hours.

Register Your Interest to Offer Work Experience Opportunities

Type of Work(Required)
Size of Company
Do you Currently Employ Apprentices(Required)
Have you had Work experience students in the past?(Required)
Reason for your interest in work experience placements?(Required)
Preferred Time of Year(Required)
Are You a Member of Master Builders Association?(Required)

Ready to talk now?

We will get back to you within one business day

Master Builders Programs

Thank you for your interest in our Master Builders Programs. By filling out this online form a Master Builders recruitment team member will respond within 48 hours.


This document outlines the direct debit arrangements between Master Builders Association of NSW Pty Ltd, ABN 11 074 397 532 (MBANSW) and you.

MBANSW is the registered Group Training Organisation and Apprenticeship Services arm of Master Builders Association of New South Wales, ABN 96 550 042 906 (Master Builders)

“You”, “your” and “Training Employer” refer to you, your company and business nominated in the table below.

This document outlines the direct debit arrangements between MBANSW and you.

Direct Debit Terms and Conditions

  • Your nominated account or credit card will be debited weekly for hosting a MBAS or MBAS+ apprentice or trainee.
  • The first debit to your account will occur within 7 working days of the MBAS or MBAS+ apprentice or trainee commencing their placement with your business.
  • If an invoice payment is due on a non-business day, it will be debited from your account on the following business day.
  • Training Employer account information held by MBANSW will be kept confidential. Please note that some information is provided to the MBANSW financial institution to initiate the debit to your nominated account.
  • MBANSW will give you a minimum of 14 days’ notice in writing of changes to these Terms and Conditions.
  • If you wish to make changes to this arrangement, please contact MBANSW on (02) 8586 3533.

Your responsibility in this arrangement

  • Ensure that your nominated account can accept direct debits (your financial institution can confirm this).
  • Ensure there are sufficient cleared funds in the nominated account on the drawing date.
  • Advise MBANSW in writing if the nominated account is transferred or closed.

Please note that if your payment is dishonoured by your financial institution, a re-draw will take place within 7 days.

Any transaction fees payable by MBANSW in respect to a dishonoured payment will be added to your account.


Please direct all enquiries to MBAS (02) 8586 3533 or;

Please include your phone and email address.

I/We authorise MBANSW to arrange for funds to be debited from my/our nominated account at the financial institution identified below.

This authority to direct debit will remain in place in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.