What is meant by 'dependant' for the purposes of dependants' leave?

A dependant is someone who depends on you for help to deal with unexpected difficulties or emergencies. The law defines dependants as:

  • a husband, wife or partner;
  • children;
  • a parent;
  • any other person residing in the same household as a family member (e.g. not a tenant); and
  • any person who reasonably relies on you for assistance in the event of physical or mental illness or accident (e.g. an elderly neighbour).
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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