Our News

Struggling To Take Your Sick Leave?

By Alan J. McDonald


When JB was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in late 2010, he informed his employer of the diagnosis. Shortly afterwards, they began pressuring him to resign to prevent him taking his sick leave and eventually dismissed him, withholding his accrued annual leave. This forced JB to rely on Centrelink whilst he underwent chemotherapy. The Federal Court upheld JB’s claim that he was dismissed for taking sick leave, and ordered he be paid his sick leave and annual leave entitlements and payment in lieu of notice of dismissal. They also imposed a $41,500 penalty on the employer for breaching these general protections provisions, and held that the negative publicity the proceedings generated were wholly warranted in the circumstances.