When can an employee use sick leave?

Let’s talk about sick leave. When can an employee use sick leave? Is it only for instances where they are sick or have an injury? Or can an employee also use it for pre-arranged appointments? Appointments such as elective surgeries and medical consultations?

Here is what you need to know.

  • An employee can use sick leave when they cannot work due to illness or injury.
  • Generally, employees can only use sick leave for pre-arranged appointments, like medical consultations or elective surgeries, if they’re also unfit to go to work because of sickness or injury.
  • If an employee needs to see a practitioner (such as a doctor, dentist or physio) but is fit for work, you can talk to them about other options. For example, taking another type of leave or making up the time later.
  • To help your employees understand their rights and responsibilities, it’s a good idea to have a policy covering these types of situations.

While employees don’t have to disclose a medical condition to you to receive paid sick leave, they do have to give notice, and you can ask for evidence (like a doctor’s certificate) to confirm they were unfit for work.

Want to know more about sick leave? Visit the Fair Work website.

Need some HR help? Contact our team today. Get in touch with Lisa at or Nick at, or call (07) 46383599.