Direction to take excess annual leave

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

Find information about when an employee can be directed to take excess annual leave in your award by selecting from the list below.

Horticulture Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Horticulture Award [MA000028].

Employees can be directed to take annual leave if they have at least 8 weeks accrued. This only applies if they haven't been able to agree with their employer about when to take the leave.

The employer has to:

  • tell the employee in writing that they need to take annual leave
  • give the employee at least 8 weeks notice (and not more than 12 months) of when the leave will start.

The leave has to be at least 1 week long and can't result in the employee having less than 6 weeks accrued leave.

Employers can use the Direction to take excessive annual leave template (DOCX 51.9KB) when directing employees to take excess annual leave.


We’ve made it easier for you to find information about pay and entitlements under the Horticulture Award. For more tailored information about your award, visit our Horticulture Showcase.

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

Source reference: Horticulture Award [MA000028] clause 22.8 external-icon.png

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Direction to take excess 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 excess annual leave. To find a registered agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website external-icon.png.

If a registered agreement says an employee can be directed to take excess annual leave but doesn't set out specific rules about this, then the direction must be reasonable.

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