How much annual leave does an employee get?

Under the NES, all employees (except casual employees) get paid annual leave based on their ordinary hours of work.

Note: The annual leave entitlement below comes from the NES. An annual leave entitlement that comes from an award or agreement may be different, but cannot be less than the NES entitlement.

An employee is entitled to:

  • 4 weeks annual leave for each 12 months of service; or
  • 5 weeks annual leave for some shift workers for each 12 months of service.

You can use the Leave Calculator to calculate personal leave entitlements under the NES.


  • This doesn't apply to casuals
  • To qualify for the shift work entitlement of five weeks annual leave, the employee must either be classified as a shift worker under an award or agreement, or if not covered by an award or agreement, they must meet all of the following criteria:
    • they are employed in an enterprise where shifts are continuously rostered 24 hours a day for seven days a week
    • they are regularly rostered to work those shifts
    • they regularly work on Sundays and public holidays.
  • Awards and agreements may provide for additional annual leave entitlements over and above those provided in the NES.


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Page last updated: 17 Sep 2010