Shutting down over the holidays?

Shutting down over the holidays?

With the countdown to Christmas officially on, now is the time to think about Christmas and New Year shut down for your business. So, how do leave arrangements work with your staff during this period? Can they refuse to take leave or is it a classic case of “too bad, so sad”? Our HR Manager, Lisa has some answers.


  • Whether or not an employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down depends on their award or registered agreement. Most awards will outline rules around how and when this can be addressed.
  • If an employee isn’t covered by an award or an agreement, you can direct them to take annual leave if the direction is reasonable.
  • If the award or agreement provides for it, you can direct an employee to take annual leave in advance of accrual, or unpaid leave, for some or all of the time.
  • If an award or agreement doesn’t have rules about annual leave during shut downs, you cannot direct an employee to take leave.
  • If a public holiday falls during an employee’s annual leave, they need to be paid for the public holiday – not annual leave. This means that an employee should be paid their base pay rate for the day and it shouldn’t be taken off their annual leave balance.

Need some HR help? Contact Lisa on (07) 4638 3599 or fill in ourĀ online form for a free, one-hour, no-obligation HR business consultation.

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