From 1 May 2023, many Awards now have updated rules on taking annual leave during a shutdown when a business temporarily closes, such as during Christmas and New Year.

Many industries are affected by these changes, in particular Awards and industries such as building and construction, hospitality (including fast food and restaurants), real estate and hair and beauty.

The Fair Work Omdusman has confirmed that the new rules mean:

  • employers may require employees to take paid annual leave during a temporary shutdown
  • employers must provide at least 28 days’ written notice of the temporary shutdown period to all impacted employees
  • the employer’s requirement for the employee to take annual leave must be reasonable
  • the notice period can be reduced through an agreement between the employer and the majority of impacted employees
  • an employee who hasn’t accrued sufficient paid annual leave for the whole period can form an agreement with their employer for other options for the days not covered, such as:
    • using accrued time off
    • annual leave in advance, or
    • leave without pay

The employee must still be paid for any public holidays during the shutdown period that fall on the employee’s normal work days.

If you or your business have any questions regarding these recent changes to the law, or if you require any assistance with policies or training, please let us know.  We would be happy to assist.