There are just less than nine weeks until Christmas – and while that sounds scary, it is a timely reminder to start preparing for any closures that will happen at your workplace over the Christmas/New Year period.

If you are planning an annual Shut Down, information on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides guidance on what you should do:http://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/annual-leave/directing-an-employee-to-take-annual-leave/direction-to-take-annual-leave-during-a-shut-down.

On that page, you can use the drop down boxes to get information specific to your industry, but remember, that you should always check any applicable Modern Award or EBA to see if there are any conditions that need to be followed such as how much notice employees should be given. (And remember to subscribe to your Award updates so you are advised of any changes to your Awards – there are changes being decided on at the Fair Work Commission regarding Shut Down clauses)

Here is an example of an answer from the drop down boxes:

Based on what you’ve told us, it looks like you’re covered by the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 [MA000002].

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down. They have to be given at least 4 weeks’ notice before the leave needs to be taken.

If an employee doesn’t have enough leave to cover the shutdown, they can agree with the employer to take:

  • annual leave in advance or
  • unpaid leave.

If an employee doesn’t agree to either, they have to be paid their ordinary pay rate for the shutdown. They can’t be forced to take unpaid leave

Christmas/New Year Public Holidays
Saturday 
December 24
Public Holiday in South Australia Only – from 7pm to Midnight
Sunday
December 25
Public Holiday in all States and Territories and NZ EXCEPT Victoria
Monday 
December 26
Public Holiday in all States and Territories and NZ.  South Australia additional Public Holiday
Tuesday 
December 27
Additional Public Holiday in all States and Territories and NZ. Victoria substitute day for Sun 25th.
Saturday 
December 31
Public Holiday in South Australia Only – from 7pm to Midnight
Sunday 
January 1
Public Holiday in all States and Territories  Except NZ
Monday 
January  2
Additional Public Holiday in all States and Territories and NZ
Tuesday 
January 3
Public Holiday in NZ