What is Pro Rata in the Australian Workplace?

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Read our guide on pro rata in the Australian workplace: its significance, implementation, and impact on leave entitlements, pay, and redundancy.

As an HR manager or business owner in Australia, you’ve probably come across the term “pro rata” many times. Pro rata salary refers to the portion of an annual salary that an employee earns based on the amount of time they have worked. 

But what does it mean, and how does it apply to your business? In this article, we’ll explain the concept of pro rata, how it’s used in the workplace, and give you some practical advice on how to ensure compliance and fairness.

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In the Australian workplace, pro rata means calculating entitlements, benefits, or payments in equal portions based on the proportion of time worked or duration of employment.

Pro rata is used for:

  • Leave entitlements (annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, long service leave)
  • Pay (part-time and casual employees)
  • Redundancy payments
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Here’s how pro rata applies to different types of leave:

The number of days of leave entitlement is calculated based on the number of days worked and the total number of days in the leave period.


Annual Leave

Full-time employees in Australia are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave per year, and part-time employees are entitled to annual leave on a pro rata basis. 

For example, if an employee works 20 hours per week (half of a full-time 40-hour week), they would be entitled to 2 weeks of annual leave per year. This is known as pro rata holiday entitlement, where the annual leave is calculated based on the proportion of full-time hours worked.


Personal/Carer’s Leave

Personal/carer’s leave (also known as sick leave) is accrued on a pro rata basis for part-time employees. The standard entitlement for full-time employees is ten days per year, so a part-time employee working 20 hours per week would accrue five days of personal/carer’s leave per year.

Leave is accrued pro rata for each pay period, ensuring that part-time employees receive their fair share of personal/carer’s leave.


Long Service Leave

Long-service leave entitlements vary by state and territory in Australia. However, the general principle is that employees accrue long service leave based on their length of continuous service with an employer. 

Pro rata applies to part-time employees, with their entitlements proportional to their hours of work. For part-time employees, long service leave is paid pro rata, reflecting the proportion of hours worked over their period of service.


Pro Rata Holiday Entitlement

Part-time employees are entitled to public holidays that fall on their regular work days. If a public holiday falls on a day they usually work, they are entitled to be paid for their ordinary hours.

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To calculate pro rata salary, you must compare the part-time hours worked to those of a full-time employee in the same role. 

For example, if a full-time employee earns $80,000 per year for a 40-hour week, a part-time employee working 30 hours per week would receive a pro-rata salary of $60,000 per year (75% of the full-time salary).

Casual employees, on the other hand, receive a casual loading (usually 25%) on top of their base hourly rate for not having permanent employment benefits such as annual leave and sick leave.

Here’s an example of how to calculate pro rata pay for a part-time employee:


Full-time salary

Full-time hours per week

Part-time hours per week

Pro rata salary calculation

Pro rata salary




(30 ÷ 40) × $80,000



This calculation ensures that part-time employees receive a pro rata wage that is fair and proportional to their hours worked.

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The National Employment Standards (NES) outline the minimum redundancy pay entitlements based on an employee’s length of continuous service. 

The pro rata amount of redundancy pay is determined by the proportion of hours worked compared to a full-time schedule.

For example, an employee with three years of continuous service is entitled to 7 weeks of redundancy pay. If this employee worked part-time for those three years at 20 hours per week, their pro rata redundancy pay would be calculated as follows:

(20 hours ÷ 40 hours) × 7 weeks = 3.5 weeks of redundancy pay

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  1. Develop policies: Create detailed policies in your HR strategy outlining how pro rata applies to leave entitlements, pay and redundancy. Ensure these policies are aligned with Australian labour laws and industry standards. This includes calculating pro-rata amounts for insurance premiums, ensuring that payments are proportional to the coverage period.
  2. Communicate with employees: Communicate your pro rata policies to employees through handbooks, contracts and regular updates. Ensure they understand their entitlements and how they are calculated.
  3. Comply: Stay current with changes to Australian labour laws and regulations to ensure your pro rata practices are compliant. Review and update your policies regularly.

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  • Pro rata means calculating entitlements, benefits or payments based on the proportion of time worked or duration of employment.
  • Pro rata applies to leave entitlements (annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, long service leave), pay (part-time and casual employees), redundancy payments.
  • Develop policies, communicate with employees and comply with Australian labour laws when implementing pro rata in your organisation.
  • Keep records, review regularly and apply pro rata consistently for fairness.