It’s been a big year and Christmas is just around the corner! For some businesses, this will mean an incredibly busy time of year, as Australian’s get on board with the #holidayherethisyear campaign. For others, it will be an opportunity to take some well-earned rest.

If your business usually shuts down over the Christmas and New Year period, many awards and agreements will set obligations for informing the staff.

Here are just a few examples of the requirements under various awards:

Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020]

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down period. They have to be given at least 2 months notice before the leave needs to be taken, if the purpose of the shut down is to give all employees (or the majority of them) all of their accumulated annual leave.

If an employee doesn’t have enough leave to cover the shutdown, they will have to take:

  • all of their accrued annual leave and then
  • unpaid leave for the rest of the shut down.

An employer can only shut down the business over the Christmas and New Year period.

Clerks – Private Sector Award [MA000002]

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down. They have to be given at least 4 weeks notice before the leave needs to be taken.

If an employee doesn’t have enough leave to cover the shutdown, they can agree with the employer to take:

  • annual leave in advance or
  • unpaid leave.

If an employee doesn’t agree to either, they have to be paid their ordinary pay rate for the shut down. They can’t be forced to take unpaid leave.

Manufacturing Industry Award [MA000010]

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down. They have to be given at least 4 weeks notice before the leave needs to be taken.

If an employee doesn’t have enough leave to cover the shutdown, they will have to take:

  • all of their accrued annual leave and then
  • unpaid leave for the rest of the shut down.

An employee can also agree with their employer to take annual leave in advance.

An employer can only shut down the business 2 times a year or up to 3 times a year where most of the employees agree. Check the Manufacturing Award for full information on when a business shuts down, including, how long the shut down period can be.

Security Services Industry Award [MA000016]

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down. They have to be given at least 28 day’s notice in writing before the leave needs to be taken.

If an employee doesn’t have enough leave to cover the shutdown, they will have to take:

  • all of their accrued annual leave and then
  • unpaid leave for the rest of the shut down.

To get the information for your award or agreement, check out the FairWork website, or give us a call.

 

*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.