Can you refuse annual leave over the Christmas period?

Christmass tress, Christmas Holidays, Christmas Shut down, Leave

For some businesses, the Christmas period is the busiest time of the year. However, it is also the time when most employees want to take leave.

Can employers refuse annual leave over the Christmas period due to high operational demands?

Annual leave may be taken for a period agreed between an employer and the employee, although the employer must not unreasonably refuse to agree to a request. Therefore employees do not have the right to take annual leave when ever they request but an employer must have a good and reasonable reason for refusing leave.

Annual leave requests should be considered on individual basis and communicated to the employee. Taking annual leave may also be subjective to a modern award or enterprise agreement.

Relevant factors to consider are, if the employee has accrued annual leave, the proposed leave period, operational requirements during the leave period, if any detriment will be caused to the business and how reasonable the notice is given.

A company annual leave policy can specify circumstances were requests for annual leave may be refused by the employer and alleviate potential disputes. For example, policy could state times of the year were annual leave will be refused or must be taken due to operational requirements.

For more information about annual leave contact ProcessWorx on (08) 9316 9896 or

Follow ProcessWorx on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest HR and Safety news.

Written by Danielle McNamee



More Posts

How Are You Managing Your Farm's HR

How Are You Managing Your HR?

The recent election of the Labor government is likely to lead to significant employment and industrial relations changes. With the new government, I anticipate several

Industrial Manslaughter Imprisonment

Industrial Manslaughter Imprisonment

Businesses should now be aware of Western Australia’s new Work, Health, and Safety (WHS) legislation and the implications concerning workplace deaths and industrial manslaughter.  If

Contact us for help

Contact Us

Start your HR or Safety assessment for your business

Treat yourself

Let Us Take Care Of You

Copyright © ProcessWorx 2022

marisa ross team photo

Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.