Leave without pay

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) is unpaid leave enabling an absence of employment that has been authorised or consented to by the employer.

In Australia, the majority of organisations will allow staff to take personal leave without pay (or LWOP as it might appear on a payslip) for certain reasons.

Common Leave Without Pay reasons

It’s important to acknowledge the ultimately the Employer can grant LWOP for any reason with the following some of the common reasons employees ask for Leave Without Pay:

  • They need additional time off for an extended holiday but have exhausted all their annual leave.
  • They are recovering from a major illness and have exhausted their sick leave
  • They’ve recently become a parent and want to spend more time with the baby to support their partner but have exhausted their maternity/paternity leave entitlements.

Typically Leave Without Pay only applies when an employees annual leave or personal leave is exhausted.

If you would like to learn more, visit the Fairwork Ombudsman website.

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