Thousands of shift workers could be entitled to hundreds of hours of unpaid sick leave pay stretching back six years, after employers were given incorrect advice on personal leave.

The workplace relations tribunal has found employers following misleading Fair Work Ombudsman advice have been paying staff who miss 12-hour shifts for just 7.2 hours.

The Australian Workers Union believes affected workers could be entitled to hundreds of hours in back pay.

“This is a momentous win for all Australians who work long shifts,” AWU national secretary Daniel Walton said on Wednesday.

“Ten days leave should mean ten days leave, and those who happen to work 12-hour shifts should not be disadvantaged.”


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