Coming into December many organisations observe a shutdown over the Christmas New Year period. However, determining employees pay during this time can be complicated. Payment can vary between Awards, so it is important to know your employee’s coverage.
Casual employees are not entitled to annual leave so are unpaid during a shutdown period. Permanent employees can be requested to take paid annual leave or unpaid leave if they have used their leave balance.
Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shutdown if the award or agreement allows it. Most awards include rules about when an employee can be directed to take leave, commonly this requires 4 weeks’ notice. Award free employees can also be requested to take a period of annual leave or unpaid leave, so long as the request is reasonable as outlined in the National Employment Standards.
There are many public holidays during this period, Western Australia public holidays include:
- Christmas Day Saturday 25th of December
- Boxing Day Sunday 26th of December
- Christmas Day (in lieu) Monday 27th of December
- Boxing Day (in lieu) Tuesday 28th of December
- New Year’s Day Saturday 1st of January
- New Year’s Day (in lieu) Monday 3rd of January
If a public holiday falls on a day that an employee usually works (e.g. Monday to Friday), they are paid as if they worked without using their annual leave balance. However, for the regular working days that are not public holidays, employees can be requested to use their annual leave.
Employees must provide adequate notice of their intent to take annual leave, typically 2-4 weeks in advance. Employers cannot unreasonably refuse a request to take annual leave. For reasons why annual leave may be refused read here.
If you have queries about anything above and want advice personalised to your business, contact us on (08) 9316 9896, or email firstname.lastname@example.org