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.
Children’s Services Award
Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Children's Services Award [MA000120].
Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down over Christmas.
If an employee doesn't have enough leave to cover this shut down, they will have to:
- take all of their accrued paid leave
- take unpaid leave for a maximum of 4 weeks or
- agree with their employer to take annual leave either wholly or partly in advance.
Non-Christmas shut down
Employees can also be directed to take annual leave during a shut down when a business is open for more than 48 weeks in a year. They have to be given at least 4 weeks notice before the leave needs to be taken.
If an employee doesn't have enough annual leave to cover the shutdown, they can agree with the employer to take:
- annual leave in advance or
- unpaid leave.
If an employee doesn't agree to either and there is no work available, they have to be paid their ordinary pay rate for the shut down. They can't be forced to take unpaid leave.
Use the Notice of requirement to take annual leave for close down letter template (DOC 59.5KB) when directing employees to take annual leave during a shut down.
Accumulating annual leave during a shut down
An employee will continue to accumulate annual leave while on paid leave during a shut down period.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Children's Services Award summary.
Source reference: Children’s Services Award [MA000120] clause 24.4
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Don't know
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
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
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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.
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