Questions about annual leave

How much annual leave do my employees receive?

Your full-time employees get 4 weeks of paid annual leave for every year that they work for your business. Part-time employees get a pro rata amount of annual leave, which means a proportionate amount based on their hours of work. Casual employees don’t get paid annual leave.

Shiftworkers are entitled to an extra week of annual leave per year. Under the Clerks Award, a shiftworker is an employee who regularly works on Sundays and public holidays, in a business that has shifts rostered for 24 hours a day for 7 hours per shift.

Find out how annual leave accumulates in the Calculating annual leave section.

Can I require an employee to take annual leave?

Under the Clerks Award, you can require your employees to take annual leave in the following situations (as long as you give them 4 weeks’ notice):

  • during a close down period, for example, if your business closes for 2 weeks over Christmas
  • when the employee has accrued more than 8 weeks of annual leave.

Template letters for both of these scenarios are available below.

Can annual leave be taken in advance?

You can allow your employees to take all or part of their annual leave in advance before the leave has accrued. If you do this you should keep accurate and detailed records and advise your employees that any leave they take in advance is owed to the business.

If their employment ends before accruing the amount of leave to repay the business, then the equivalent amount of outstanding entitlements can be deducted from any amounts payable to the employee upon termination of employment.

Can annual leave be cashed out?

Your employees cannot cash out their annual leave or personal leave entitlements under the Clerks Award.

How do public holidays affect annual leave?

Remember that the entitlement to paid public holidays is separate to annual leave. This means that if a public holiday falls during a period of annual leave your employee must be paid for the public holiday separately. This day must not be subtracted from their annual leave balance.

How does workers’ compensation affect annual leave?

An employee is not entitled to accrue or take annual leave when on workers’ compensation. However, employees may accrue annual leave if it is allowed under the workers’ compensation legislation in the state or territory that they are employed. You should contact the relevant workers’ compensation agency in your state or territory for more information.

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Page last updated: 06 Oct 2011