Direction to take annual leave during a shut down

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 2010 [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 62KB) 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 2010 [MA000120] clause 24.4 external-icon.png

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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 stand down and severe weather 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.

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