Holidays and taking time off work
Employees can take time off work for many reasons, including:
- to go on a holiday (annual leave)
- because they’re sick or have to take care of sick family members (sick and carer’s leave)
- on a public holiday
- when a child is born or is adopted (parental leave)
- family and domestic violence leave.
All employees, except casuals, are entitled to paid time for holidays and sick and carer’s leave.
When taking time off, employees have to be paid their minimum pay rate, not including overtime, penalties, allowances or bonuses.
Holiday pay (also known as annual leave (annual leave)) allows an employee to be paid while having time off work.
Watch our short video about annual leave.
How much leave does an employee get?
Full-time and part-time employees get 4 weeks of annual leave every year. Some employees will get extra pay called annual leave loading (annual leave loading).
Casual employees don’t get paid time off, but can ask their employer about taking unpaid leave for holidays.
When can leave for holidays be taken?
Employees begin accumulating annual leave as soon as they start working. It can be:
- taken any time during the first 12 months of work
- for any amount of time, including single or part days.
An employer and employee have to agree on when leave will be taken. An employer can only refuse an employee’s request for annual leave if the refusal is reasonable.
Sometimes employers can direct their employees to take annual leave.
End of employment
When employment ends, employees have to be paid for any annual leave they’ve accumulated but haven’t taken.
The amount paid needs to include annual leave loading (annual leave loading) if loading would have been paid when the employee took leave during their employment.
What to do next
- To calculate holiday pay or sick and carer’s leave, go to our Leave Calculator (Leave Calculator)