Notice of requirement to take annual leave

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This tool will help you prepare a letter directing your employee to take annual leave. It covers business shut downs and excessive leave balances.

The tool will ask you simple questions and use your answers to tailor a letter for you. You will be able to save and edit your letter at the end.

Important information

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Before you begin: To prepare your letter you’ll need to know if an award or enterprise agreement applies to the employee and, if so, ensure that it allows you to direct the employee to take annual leave.

All fields are required unless marked optional.

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If you don’t wish to use this tool, you can download and complete one of the following blank template letters:

Reason for direction

Reason for requirement to take annual leave

Why do you require the employee to take annual leave?

Business shut down

An employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down if their award or registered agreement allows it.

A shut down is when a business temporarily closes during slow periods of the year, such as Christmas and New Year. It is also called a 'close down'. It is not the same as a ‘stand down’ such as when the business can’t open because of a natural disaster.

If no award or agreement applies you can only direct an employee to take a period of paid annual leave where the requirement is reasonable.

Find out more about when an employee can be directed to take paid and unpaid annual leave during a shut down.

Excessive annual leave balance

Under some awards and registered agreements, employers can direct employees to take paid annual leave if they have a lot of annual leave.

If no award or agreement applies you can only direct an employee to take a period of paid annual leave where the requirement is reasonable.

Find out more about when an employee can be directed to take excess annual leave.

Terms and conditions of employment

What award or enterprise agreement applies to this employee?

Award

An award sets out minimum pay rates and entitlements for employees in a particular industry or occupation.

There are more than 120 awards that cover most employees in Australia.

Find your award.

Enterprise Agreement

An enterprise agreement sets out minimum pay rates and entitlements for a particular business.

Check if an enterprise agreement applies to your business.

This employee is award and agreement free

Most employees in Australia are covered by an award or enterprise agreement but a few jobs and industries are not.

When an employee is award and agreement free they are entitled to at least the national minimum wage and the National Employment Standards.

An employer can require an award and agreement free employee to take paid annual leave if the requirement is reasonable.

Find out more about award and agreement free employees.

Award or agreement requirements

Does your award or enterprise agreement have a clause that allows you to direct this employee to take annual leave?

You must not direct an employee to take a period of annual leave unless their award or enterprise agreement allows it.

Check your award or agreement to see if it includes this provision, and if there are any other requirements or conditions you must fulfill, such as providing notice.

If you answer 'no' to this question you will not be able to proceed with this template.

Find out more about directing an employee to take annual leave.

Letter details

Introduction details

Employee's postal address

Excessive leave balance

Have you discussed with the employee their excessive leave balance?

We recommend you do not continue with this letter until you have discussed with the employee their excessive leave balance. Many awards require that a discussion take place before the employee can be directed to take annual leave.

There may be reasons that the employee is trying to accrue extended leave such as a family holiday, or caring for children over school holiday periods. Having this discussion with the employee can help you to better understand their needs and consider how they can be accommodated in the workplace.

Business shut down

What is the reason for the business shut down?

Notice

Closing remark