Here’s what you need to know


With the Christmas and New Year holiday period fast approaching it’s a good time to ensure you have communicated any planned office closure periods for the break with your staff.

Employees can legally be directed to take annual leave during a closure/shut down period if their agreement / award / contract allows for it.

Depending on your business and industry, employees can be under a variety of different awards so it’s best to investigate or seek some external HR advice where needed.

If you don’t know the award and your employment contracts don’t set out the terms for certain closure periods, where some employees don’t have enough annual leave to cover this period, they can agree to either:

  • Take annual leave in advance
  • Take unpaid leave

However, if an employee doesn’t agree to either of these options then employers may be required to pay their ordinary rate during the Christmas break.

It is advisable to send out a company notification advising a closure will be imposed due to the Christmas period and to outline leave options to employees.

If you need any advice please don’t hesitate to reach out.