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Shutting down over Christmas and New Year?

Posted by LNA Master Landscapers Association on 18 October 2018
The end of 2018 is fast approaching and it's time to start thinking about what happens over Christmas and New Year.

Many businesses shut down or run on skeleton staff over the Christmas and New Year period.

How employees are paid over this period depends on:
  • the award or agreement they're covered by
  • whether they're working or on leave.

Directing an employee to take annual leave

An employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down if their award or registered agreement allows it.

Most awards have rules about how and when an employer can direct an employee to take leave.  In the Gardening and Landscaping Services Award 2010 Section 24.9 Annual close-down states that where an employer intends temporarily to close (or reduce to nucleus) the place of employment or a section of it for the purpose, among others, of allowing annual leave to the employees concerned or a majority of them, the employer may give those employees one month's notice in writing of an intention to apply the provisions of this clause. In the case of any employee engaged after notice has been given, notice must be given to that employee on the date of their engagement.  To find out more please click here

What if an employee doesn't have enough annual leave?

The award provides for this and an employer can direct an employee to take unpaid leave, for some or all of the time.

What happens if a public holiday falls during an employee's annual leave?

If a public holiday falls during an employee's annual leave, they need to be paid for the public holiday - not annual leave. This means that an employee should be paid their base pay rate for the day and it shouldn't be taken off their annual leave balance.

Working during a shut down

If employees continue to work when a business shuts down they should be paid as normal. If any of the days are public holidays, these days are treated as public holidays. This means the employee should be given the day off without loss of pay or they should be paid public holiday rates as per their award or agreement.

Author: LNA Master Landscapers Association
Tags: Resources

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