What if My Employee Has Not Accrued Sufficient Annual Leave?

Often employees do not have sufficient annual leave accumulated to take annual leave during the Christmas and New Year period.

If an employee has not accrued sufficient annual leave, then the employer should refer to the award or enterprise agreement relevant to the employee as this will determine the process by which the employee can take annual leave.

However, if an award or enterprise agreement does not cover the employee, then the employer can request that the employee takes the annual leave as unpaid leave or that they use their annual leave in advance during the Christmas and New Year period.

If the employee does not agree to either of these options, then the employer is required to pay their normal salary for that period.

When calculating annual leave over the Christmas and New Year period it is important to remember that for permanent staff, if they would typically work the public holiday you must count that day as a public holiday rather than a day of annual leave.

What are the Official Christmas and New Year Public Holidays?

This table sets out the relevant public holidays for the Christmas leave period and New Year 2019/2020 in Australia:

When What
Friday, 25 December 2020 Christmas Day
Saturday 26 December & Monday 28 December Boxing Day
Friday, 1 January 2021 New Year’s Day


Tim Hayter, Principal, Mid West Lawyers

This information is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought for your particular circumstances.