- Can you force annual leave during a Christmas close down?
Q. My business closes each Christmas period for a couple of weeks. Can I direct my employees to take annual leave during a Christmas close down?
A: When a business closes temporarily during slow periods such as Christmas time, this is called a ‘close down’.
Employers may be wondering whether they can direct an employee to use up some of their annual leave entitlements during a close down period, or they may be wondering how to handle this period in general. Employers should check their applicable Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement to understand the rules that apply for the direction of annual leave during such a period and also whether a close down situation applies to their business at all.
Awards vary in content from one to another, so don’t make the mistake of thinking all modern awards will state the same thing in regard to a Christmas close down. Many Awards and Agreements do allow the direction of annual leave for shut downs though. Generally if it is allowed, employers will be required to provide a reasonable amount of notice, and there may be some rules about how the leave must be paid or handled.
Where an employee is not covered by an Award or an Agreement, the employer can direct an employee to take leave as long as it’s reasonable.
Industryus HR highly recommends employers check the relevant Award or Agreement to ascertain the rules, and to speak to a HR professional prior to acting.
If you need assistance with matters such as employee entitlements and the rules around Pay and Awards, you may wish to consider Industryus HR’s membership, where members can get in touch about HR matters whenever they arise. It offers value for money assistance and peace of mind so that you can get on with managing your business. Call us on 07 5655 4047 or click here to book in a free introductory call to find out more.
- Annual leave – can you cash it out?
Q. My employee has requested to cash out some of his annual leave to pay off some debts. Is this allowed under Fair Work legislation?
A: Employers should ensure they understand the rules around cashing out annual leave prior to agreeing to any requests to do so.
Employees can receive payment for annual leave instead of taking time off work only when an applicable modern award or registered agreement (e.g. enterprise agreement) allows it. There are also some rules around leave balances and the manner in which cashing out leave should be arranged that must be taken into consideration.
In short, employers will need to check applicable modern awards or registered agreements, and also consider any rules set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 prior to agreeing to cash out leave.
Do you need help with your day to day Human Resources matters? Become a member of the Industryus HR membership and gain access to a human resources specialist whenever you need support. We can assist with topics such as entitlements or other tricky employment related topics from pay to termination. Call 07 5655 4047 to speak to a consultant or visit our website for more info on our products and services.