Annual leave (also known as holiday pay) allows an employee to be paid while having time off from work.
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Who is entitled to annual leave?
The entitlement to annual leave comes from the National Employment Standards.
Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can't offer less than the National Employment Standards but they can give more annual leave.
All employees (except for casual employees) get paid annual leave.
For a quick overview of how annual leave works, watch our short video to find out who is entitled to annual leave, how much leave an employee earns and how you can take your leave.
How much annual leave does an employee get?
Full-time and part-time employees get 4 weeks of annual leave, based on their ordinary hours of work.
Example: annual leave for part-time employees
Jane is a part-time employee who works 20 hours per week for a year.
During one year, she will accumulate 80 hours of annual leave (the equivalent of 4 weeks work for her).
Shiftworkers may get up to 5 weeks of annual leave per year.
Find information about annual leave for shiftworkers in your award by selecting from the list below.
We don't have extra information here for your choice.
We only have extra information here for our most common industries. You'll need to check your award for minimum entitlements and obligations.
If you know your award you can access it from our List of awards page. If you don't, you can use our 3 step form to help you Find your Award.
You can calculate entitlements and obligations for all awards using our:
If you're covered by a registered agreement, check the terms of your agreement for information. To find a registered agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website.
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How does annual leave accumulate?
Annual leave accumulates from the first day of employment, even if an employee is in a probation period.
The leave accumulates gradually during the year and any unused annual leave will roll over from year to year.
Annual leave accumulates when an employee is on:
- paid leave such as paid annual leave and paid sick and carer's leave
- community service leave including jury duty
- long service leave.
Annual leave does not accumulate when the employee is on:
- unpaid annual leave
- unpaid sick/carer's leave
- unpaid parental leave
- unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
The Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme is not considered to be paid leave. An employee does not accumulate annual leave while being paid by the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, if
the person is taking unpaid leave from their employer at this time.
Leave does not accumulate for a period of annual leave that has been cashed out.
Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.87
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