Christmas shut down and staff leave

Is your business shutting down over Christmas? What happens if you have staff who don’t have enough annual leave to cover the period? We recently answered this question:

Q] *We currently offer our team the option to take advanced annual leave over our Christmas shut down if they have an insufficient balance. However, we would like to know if we can also provide the option to take unpaid leave or long service leave. Is this allowed?*

A] *Before navigating the HR world of shut downs, it’s important to check the award/enterprise agreement relevant to your staff. That way, you are aware of any stipulations with regards to leave during this period.

Typically, employers can work with staff to come to a mutual agreement with regards to shut downs and taking either unpaid leave or annual leave in advance. It is important to note, however, that employees cannot be forced to take unpaid leave. If an employee does not agree, they have to be paid their ordinary rate of pay.

With long service leave (LSL), under Queensland legislation, there are no restrictions on whether or not it can be taken early. So, providing an employee has worked for your company for ten or more continuous years, it could be offered.*

Do you need some HR help? Get in touch with Lisa on (07) 4638 3599 or [email protected] for a free, one-hour, no-obligation HR consultation.