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.

Cleaning Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Cleaning Services Award [MA000022].

Employers can direct their employees to take a maximum of 4 weeks of annual leave if:

  • the employee works at a cleaning site run by a client of their employer
  • the client doesn’t need the site cleaned to the same level because they’re temporarily shutting down or significantly reducing their operations at that site to allow their staff to take annual leave.

If an employee doesn't have enough annual leave, they need to take all their accrued paid annual leave and then unpaid leave for the rest of the time.

Instead of unpaid leave, the employer needs to let an employee work at another site if there is work available and it is possible to do so.

Employees can also agree in writing with their employer to take annual leave in advance.

Check the Cleaning Award for more information about when a business shuts down, including how long a business can shut down for.

Accumulating annual leave during a shut down

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

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

Source reference: Cleaning Services Award [MA000022] clause 21.4 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 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.

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