What is Leave Loading?

Some employees are entitled to leave loading when they take time off work. But what is leave loading, and are you eligible for it?

Every full-time employee in Australia is entitled to four weeks (20 business days) of paid annual leave per year they’ve worked. Under Australian law, you’re entitled to be paid at your normal rate of pay during your holiday period – but some awards, agreements, and employers pay an additional loading percentage on top of one’s basic wage. This additional pay is known as leave loading.

What is leave loading?

Leave loading is an extra payment that entitled employees receive whilst on annual leave; usually an extra 17.5% on top of their normal wage according to Law Access NSW. Leave loading is a common feature in some industry awards in Australia, but not all employees are entitled to it. Be sure to check with your employee to see if you’re entitled to leave loading.

Who is entitled to leave loading?

Leave loading is a legal entitlement in some industry awards. An award is a legal document setting out minimum rates of pay and employment conditions for a particular industry. According to Fair Work Australia, there are 122 different awards in effect which cover most of Australia’s working population.

Some examples of industries whose awards include leave loading include: building and construction, trades, manufacturing, hospitality, hair and beauty and real estate. To find out which award covers your occupation and to see if you’re entitled to leave loading, go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

How do I receive leave loading?

According to Law Access NSW, if you’re eligible your leave loading will be added on to your regular wage which you would otherwise receive whilst on annual leave. Depending on your employer, this may be paid before, during or after your time away, and will typically be paid at least monthly.

Depending on what stage of your life you’re at, a consideration could be taking some of your extra leave loading pay and putting it into your super. That being said, it’s important you’re with the best-value super fund for your personal circumstances – you can compare funds with Canstar.

If you’re comparing Superannuation funds, the comparison table below displays some of the products currently available on Canstar’s database for Australians aged 30-39 with a balance of up to $55,000, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by company name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s superannuation comparison selector to view a wider range of super funds.

Fee, performance and asset allocation information shown in the table above have been determined according to the investment profile in the Canstar Superannuation Star Ratings methodology that matches the age group you selected.

About Sam Bloom

Sam BloomSam Bloom was previously a casual writer at Canstar for several years, covering a range of finance and technology topics for both our Australian and New Zealand sites, as well as Canstar Blue. With a keen eye for detail, Sam specialised in taking deep dives into complex and technical subjects and translating them into easy-to-read articles for everyday Australians. His ability to construct a compelling finance story may be partly thanks to his engineering degree which he studied while at Canstar. Since graduating, Sam has joined a global engineering advisory company.


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