In this edition of 'It depends', special counsel Craig Turvey talks about employee entitlements and whether they form part of your property pool.

Video transcript

Welcome to this edition of it depends. Today, we're talking about employee entitlements and whether they form part of your property pool or not.

What are employee entitlements?

In family law, property settlements, employee entitlements are generally categorised as annual leave or long service leave. They're often overlooked by family lawyers and by clients. Perhaps, it's just because they're not an obvious asset or potential financial resource. It's an easy thing to do, though. To look at someone's payslip to see down the bottom whether there's annual leave or long service leave that's accrued or as part of the property settlement, people have to provide disclosure. So, if someone has a payslip that doesn't disclose those types of things, you can request it as part of the disclosure obligations.

What is a property pool?

A property pool is a list of all of the assets and liabilities and often superannuation as well that forms part of the assets that are available to divide between people in a family law property settlement. That's distinct from a financial resource. A financial resources is a future financial benefit you might receive in an asset.

Are my leave entitlements considered property or a financial resource?

The answer is it depends. If you can cash out your long service leave so if you, under your employment contract can ask your employer just to pay out your entitlements at any point, whether as lump sum or in terms of ongoing payments. Then in that case, your employee entitlements are probably going to be categorised as property and included in the property pool. If you can't do that. And if instead, like for most of us, your entitlements can only be paid out when you resign from your employment. Then, in that case it's likely they'll only be treated as a financial resource, which means they won't be available for distribution as part of your property settlement. If you have any questions about your employee entitlements and whether as part of your property settlement, they're likely to be categorised as property or a financial resource, then please don't hesitate to contact me or one of the other family lawyers at Cooper Grace Ward.

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