Christmas was cancelled for a lot of Australian families this year as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on festive plans.
If that was you, firstly, our commiserations. That bloody sucks.
For most of us the festive season was something we held high hopes for after another year of restrictions and lockdowns and disappointment. Almost all borders (other than Western Australia) had been reopened just in time, and reunions months and years in the making could finally come to fruition.
Sidenote: Here are some signs to use when talking about COVID. Post continues after video.
But if you're one of the unlucky ones who missed out over this time, spending your much anticipated annual leave sick with COVID, we wanted to do you a solid.
We hit up two HR experts for their best tips when it comes to navigating this very scenario, because chances are you are kicking off the new year at work without the holiday you had banked on.
Here's what they said.
Can I swap out my annual leave for sick leave?
Put simply, yes. Absolutely you can.
As Mathew Paine from HR Expert Australia told Mamamia, "Section 89 of the Fair Work Act 2009 states that 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.
"It is important to note that an employee needs to give their employer reasonable evidence that they aren't fit for work if their employer asks about it. Obtaining a doctor's note or medical certificate will put you in good stead."
If you're a casual or contract worker, you aren't entitled to either annual or sick leave. So unfortunately you can't be paid during either.
What if I am isolating as a close contact?
The Fair Work Act 2009 does not provide an entitlement to personal leave if an employee is not sick, which as Mr Paine points out, would extend to being tested for COVID or isolating as a close contact.