Payment for annual leave

Annual leave is paid at the employee's current base pay rate for all hours of leave taken, not including extra payments such as:

  • overtime rates
  • penalties
  • allowances
  • bonuses.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can set out:

  • a different method of payment for annual leave
  • that annual leave loading is paid for annual leave.

Find information about payments for annual leave and annual leave loading in your award by selecting from the list below.

Real Estate Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106].

An employee who gets annual leave is paid their base pay rate.

An employee has to be paid their annual leave either:

  • when they start their leave or
  • on the employee’s normal pay day throughout the period of leave.

Commission-only employees

Commission-only employees are paid their annual leave:

  • on top of their minimum commission-only rate
  • at a rate that's no less than the base pay rate for the employee's classification level.

Annual leave payment as a debit

Some commission-only employees have an agreement with a commission-only rate higher than the minimum commission-only rate of 31.5% of the employer’s gross commission.

The extra amount of commission they receive above the minimum commission-only rate is treated as a commission credit.

When a commission-only employee takes annual leave, an employer is able to debit an amount equal to the payment made for the annual leave from the employees commission credit.

Example: Annual leave payment as a debit

Dominic is a real estate agent on a commission-only rate of 35%. This is 3.5% higher than the minimum commission-only rate of 31.5%.

Dominic takes 2 weeks of annual leave, which is equal to a gross payment of $2000.

Dominic's employer has received $100 000 in gross commissions for the sales Dominic has been responsible for. The extra percentage he receives for his commission-only rate means he has  a commission credit of $3500.

The $2000 for annual leave can be debited from Dominic’s commission credit. This means Dominic's commission credit will be $1500 after going on annual leave.

Annual leave loading

An employee who gets annual leave has to be paid annual leave loading of 17.5%, calculated on their base rate. Commission-only employees don't get annual leave loading.

Annual leave loading isn't paid on annual leave that's taken in advance.

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

Source reference: Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106] clauses 16.6, 20.2 and 20.6 external-icon.png

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Annual leave when employment ends

When employment ends, employers have to pay their employee for any unused annual leave they've accumulated during their employment.

The annual leave payment has to be the same amount that the employee would have received if they’d taken the annual leave during their employment. For example, if an employee would have been entitled to annual leave loading or other payments when they took their annual leave, these loadings and other payments have to be included in the final payment. These payments apply even if an award, registered agreement or employment contract says that they don’t.

Find out more about what's included in an employee’s Final pay.

Annual leave when sick or injured

If an employee is sick or injured while on annual leave, the employee can use their paid sick or carer's leave entitlement instead of using their annual leave.

The employer can still request the employee provide notice and evidence when taking sick or carer's leave while on annual leave.

An employer can’t direct an employee to take annual leave while they’re taking sick or carer’s leave.

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.89 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 Fixing a workplace problem 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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