Direction to take annual leave during a shut down

Due to the impacts coronavirus is having on the community, a number of unions and employer associations are applying to the Fair Work Commission to increase award flexibility.

This may affect the entitlements on this page.

For a list of determinations and to see if your award is affected go to Temporary changes to workplace laws during coronavirus.

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

What is a shut down?

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'.

Find information about when an employee can be directed to take paid and unpaid annual leave during a shut down in your award by selecting from the list below.

Fast Food Award

Temporary changes to the Fast Food Award

Between 19 May 2020 and 31 July 2020 the Fast Food had a temporary Schedule H. Schedule H changed entitlements under the award relating to:

  • part-time work
  • annual leave.

The Schedule applied to:

  • employees covered by the Fast Food Award who didn’t qualify for JobKeeper payments
  • employers covered by the Fast Food Award who weren’t eligible for JobKeeper payments.

For the time that Schedule H operated, an employee’s usual terms and conditions of employment under the Fast Food Award continued to apply, unless changed under Schedule H.

Schedule H in the Fast Food Award stopped applying from 31 July 2020. The standard award provisions detailed on this page now apply.

Go to Fast Food Award flexibility during coronavirus for more information about the changes that applied under Schedule H.

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Fast Food Industry Award [MA000003].

Employees can’t be directed to take annual leave during a shut down under the Fast Food Award.

An employee can still agree to take annual leave, annual leave in advance or unpaid leave during a shut down.

However, if they don’t agree, they have to be paid their ordinary pay rate for the shut down. They can’t be forced to take unpaid leave.

Accumulating annual leave during a shut down

An employee will continue to accumulate annual leave only when on paid leave during a shut down.

For annual leave entitlements in this award, go to the Fast Food Industry Award [MA000003] clause 28 external-icon.png.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Fast Food Award summary.

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A shut down isn't the same as a stand down. A stand down is when an employer sends employees home if there is no useful work for them to do. Reasons for stand down include events out of the employer’s control like a natural disaster. See Pay during inclement weather and stand down for more information.

Direction to take annual leave under an agreement

If you’re covered by a registered agreement, check the terms of your agreement for information about when an employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down. To find a registered agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website external-icon.png.

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

Help for small business

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