Closing for Christmas and New Year – What to do.

As the holiday season draws near, businesses embark on the crucial task of planning for Christmas and New Year, including a scheduled period of closing the business. This undertaking involves more than just decorating the office space; it requires meticulous preparation and adherence to the award or agreement your employees are governed by.
Business owners and managers need to plan ahead.

1 . Requirement for Employees to take Annual Leave :

An employer can direct its permanent employees to take annual leave only if their award or agreement allows it. Most awards indicate how and when an employer can direct their employees to take leave. For example, the Clerks Private Sector Award allows employees to take annual leave during a shutdown, however the employer must give them 4 weeks’ notice (before the first day of leave) in writing.

If the employee does not have enough leave, the employer can agree to pay the annual leave in advance or the employee can take unpaid leave.

If no award or agreement applies to your workplace, employers can only direct the employee to take annual leave if the direction is reasonable and agreed to by the employee.

2 . Public Holidays During Leave :

Public Holidays that fall during a period of paid leave are paid as a normal work day and not as an annual leave day.

If a public holiday falls within a period of unpaid leave then the public holiday is not paid.

Should an employee be required to work on a public holiday then the normal penalty rates will apply.

If you are in doubt refer to the relevant award or agreement, or call us on 0400 088 627

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