With the Christmas period not far away it is important that businesses begin to consider what dates they will close their doors over the holiday period.
Where a business decides to temporarily shut over the holiday period, this is referred to as an ‘Annual close- down’ under clause 29.12 of the Vehicle Award.
There are a few requirements that must be followed when a close-down is initiated. Firstly, when allowing employees to take annual leave during a close-down period they must be given at least 4 weeks’ notice.
If an employee doesn’t have enough annual leave accumulated in order to cover the close-down period they can reach agreement with the employer to:
- Use the annual leave they have accrued for part of the close-down and then unpaid leave for the rest; or
- Take unpaid leave for the whole period; or
If the employer and employee both agree in writing, for annual leave to be granted in advance (with a copy of the agreement kept as an employee record)
Whilst an employee is on paid leave they will continue to accrue leave entitlements during this period, however, paid leave entitlements will not accrue on unpaid leave.
The dates of the Public Holidays over the Christmas period this year will be:
- Tuesday 24th December (From 7pm to 12am only) - part-day public holiday
- Wednesday 25th December – Christmas Day
- Thursday 26th December- Proclamation Day
- Tuesday 31st December (From 7pm to 12am only)- part-day public holiday
- Wednesday 1st January- New Year’s Day
If an employee works during a public holiday then relevant public holiday pay conditions under the Award need to be complied with.
WR Workshop - Christmas Essentials
Additionally with the upcoming Christmas break, a number of businesses will be organising Christmas work functions. Whilst these functions are a great way to reward everyone’s hard work throughout the year, it is important for employers to also be aware of what expectations need to be set and risks that may present themselves at these functions.
The WR team will be conducting a WR Workshop, Christmas Essentials, on the 6 November that will expand on the requirements for Christmas close-downs, leave etc. It will also equip employers with the knowledge they need to be aware of their liabilities for staff Christmas functions.
If members have any queries about close-downs provisions under the Award or would like to register for the Christmas Essentials course they should contact our Workplace Relations team on 8291 2000 or via email by clicking here.