There’s nothing worse than getting sick while on holidays. But it turns out there’s a way to get your precious annual leave back if you do.

Caught something while on holiday?

When we think of taking annual leave, it often involves the thought of lounging by a pool with a cocktail in hand.

But with the current surge in Covid-19 cases, many hopeful travellers have faced the harsh reality of having to cancel holiday plans, and instead spend their annual leave in bed with a box of tissues.

If this has happened to you, there’s good news. You can in fact get that annual leave back.

According to the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman, if an employee is sick or injured while on annual leave, they can use their paid sick or carer’s leave entitlement instead of using their annual leave.

In other words, your sick leave supersedes your annual leave.

If you have to care for a loved one during your break, the same applies, by using your carer’s leave instead.

And if your workplace has something to say about, it’s within your rights as an employee to be able to change your leave, even if it’s already submitted and approved.

“An employer can’t force an employee to take annual leave while they’re taking sick or carer’s leave,” according to the Fair Work Act 2009 s. 89.

So if you come down with any type of illness or injury, you can recuperate knowing you’re not wasting your precious holiday time.

Clever hack: How to get the most out of your leave entitlement

There’s also a way to get 54 days of holiday in 2022 by only taking 23 annual leave days.

A study from Instant Offices broke down the data and analysed exactly how much Aussies can get away in 2022 – for only a fraction of their leave.

Here’s what you need to do, month by month.


Christmas Day this year and New Year’s Day both fall on weekends.

This means there were a number of “substitute” public holidays in December and January.

Monday, December 27 was the public holiday replacing Christmas Day while Monday, January 3 replaced the usual public holiday for New Year’s Day.

This means for only four days leave, you could get 10 days off.


Easter celebrations and Anzac Day will give Aussies another chance to get away from work for a good amount of time.

Good Friday, and its accompanying public holiday, are on April 15.

Easter Monday, falling April 18, will also be a public holiday.

Anzac Day, on April 25, falls on the following Monday and is another public holiday.

This means for only four days leave, you can get 11 days off.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, extend your leave until Friday, April 29, which will give you 17 days off for only eight days of leave.


Depending on what state or territory you’re in, May and June bring a number of public holidays.

In the ACT, Canberra holds a public holiday for Reconciliation Day, marking the start of National Reconciliation week.

Reconciliation Day is held on the first Monday after or on May 27, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum.

In 2022, the public holiday for Reconciliation Day will be held on Monday, May 30.

This means Canberrans can use four days of leave to get nine days off between Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, June 5.

The Queen’s birthday long weekend, which will have its public holiday on Monday, June 13, means Canberrans could also use nine days of leave for 17 days off.


Labour Day for NSW, ACT and South Australia will be celebrated on Monday, October 3 this year, while in Queensland the same day is its official Queen’s Birthday public holiday. For those getting a day off, they will be able to use the same tactic – four days of leave for nine days holiday – from Saturday, October 1 to Monday, October 10.


Christmas and New Year’s will fall on weekends again in 2022/23 meaning the public holidays will be pushed to the Mondays after.

Christmas Day is on a Sunday so there are public holidays the following Monday (Boxing Day) and Tuesday (Christmas Day observed) while the New Year’s Day public holiday will be held on January 2, 2023.

This article originally appeared on Escape and has been republished with permission