How to start planning for the holiday shut down period

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about and planning for any shut downs your business might have. If you’re planning a shut down over the festive period, you may need to give staff notice and check the rules surrounding the awards and agreements for your business. Some important points to be aware of include the following:


  • Casual employees are not required to be paid during shut downs however full-time and part-time employees must be paid their usual wages unless their award or agreement states otherwise.
  • You can tell employees to take leave during a shut down period if your award or agreement says you can. Make sure you follow any rules about notifying staff and what should happen during the shut down.
  • You can’t force employees to use their leave for the shut down period if your award or agreement doesn’t say anything about shut downs. You can, however, negotiate with them to take paid or unpaid leave but they must be paid their ordinary hours throughout the shut down if they don’t agree to take any leave.
  • If your employees are not covered by an award or agreement, you can direct them to take leave if the direction is ‘reasonable’.
  • If an employee is on annual leave and public holidays fall during that time, those days are still treated as public holidays – not annual leave days. The employee should be paid their base rate of pay for the day and the day should not be taken off their annual leave balance.


For more information about how we can help you plan and prepare your business for a Christmas shut down please contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or


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