Check your Christmas Shutdown Payroll Obligations If you are planning an annual or Christmas shutdown, information on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website provides guidance on what you should do:
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Christmas Shutdown

Christmas Shutdown

Not long until Christmas Shutdown!

There are less than 11 weeks until Christmas Shutdown – 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.

Check your Christmas Shutdown Payroll Obligations

If you are planning an annual or Christmas shutdown, 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.)

 

How Do You Handle Christmas Shutdown?

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.

 

Plan and Prepare

Our recommendation is to develop a plan of how you’re going to approach the break. Document it in your procedure and discuss your policies with your staff well before the planned shut down so there are no issues at the time. And have a great Christmas Shutdown!

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