Many employers will be looking at closing down their businesses over the Christmas and New Year period so they can have a well-deserved break.

Some awards require up to 3 months’ notice be provided to employees, therefore it is important that employers check employment contracts, awards or registered agreements now for the conditions and notice periods which apply to their employees.

A contract, award or registered agreement needs to be checked to determine the following:

  • How much notice employees need to receive of the closure;
  • Whether employees can be directed to take annual leave during the close down; and
  • Whether unpaid leave will be applied where an employee has insufficient annual leave

Where an award or other industrial agreement is silent on whether employees can be directed to take annual leave, employees cannot be forced to take leave and will either need to be provided with work or be paid for any day where work is not provided.

Where employees are not covered by an award or registered agreement, a direction to take annual leave is reasonable where a business closes down over the Christmas and New Year period.

Employers are encouraged to call CCIQ’s Employer Assistance Team on 1300 135 822 or email if they have any questions regarding their obligations around annual close-downs.

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