Christmas shut-downs & annual leave payout

by Craig Joy - Craig Joy Workplace Consulting

Employer’s covered by Awards are now more likely to be required to provide written notice to employees of the intention to shut down over Christmas. Four weeks’ notice is commonly required, so time is running out to get that done. Review your Award/s to ascertain what notice is required. You will need to ensure you are reviewing the latest version of the Award, because anything pre-July this year will not have these updates.

Those who subscribe to the awards as previously detailed in other Client Updates, should have received emails alerting them to this development. Those not subscribed to the Awards can do so through this link.

Payout of Annual Leave

You may also find that more employees are now aware of the option of having some annual leave paid out under the Awards. This used to be illegal but has been allowed for the last couple of years. Naturally there are still provisos, including that awards mostly require that a maximum of two weeks’ annual leave be cashed out in any year, and that the employee must still have at least four weeks’ annual leave remaining AFTER the cashing out. So, if they have four weeks’ leave or less accrued, none can be cashed out. If they have five weeks’ annual leave accrued, only one week can be cashed out.

Regardless of how much annual leave they have accrued, if they have already cashed out two weeks’ leave this year, no more is permitted to be cashed out, as they cannot cash out more than two weeks’ annual leave per year.

Payment for the cashed-out annual leave has to be at the rate which would have applied had they taken the leave. Therefore, an employee who normally gets paid leave loading would be entitled to receive the leave loading with the cashing out of the annual leave.

For more details, contact Craig at