Annual leave (also known as holiday pay) allows an employee to be paid while having time off from work.
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.
Who is entitled to annual leave?
All employees (except for casual employees) get paid annual 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.
Building and Construction Award
Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020].
To get 5 weeks of annual leave a shiftworker has to be regularly rostered to work in a system of shifts which are:
- continuously rostered 24 hours a day and
- rostered at least 6 days in a row without interruption.
An employee will still get the extra week of annual leave when shifts are interrupted due to:
- meal breaks or
- unavoidable causes beyond the control of the employer.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Building and Construction Award summary.
Source reference: Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020] clause 2 and 31.1
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Don't know
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
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
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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