Sick leave starts when?

Question: I have just started employment as a new graduate RN in the public health system. As I have no prior public service, when can I access paid sick leave?

Answer: Under clause 37(i) of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2015, an employee is not entitled to paid sick leave until they have worked three months continuous service. The relevant Ministry of Health policy directive (PD2014_029 Leave Matters for the NSW Health Service) sets out:

“Any absence for reasons of sickness or incapacity in the first three months of employment will be regarded as sick leave without pay. There is no provision for the back-pay of sick leave taken in the first three months of service once the employee becomes eligible for paid sick leave.”

So your annual paid sick leave entitlement becomes available after the completion of your first three months of service and then subsequently on the anniversary of your employment.