In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, many businesses in Australia are getting ready for a temporary shutdown. Managing this transition effectively is essential for both legal compliance and ensuring a smooth holiday period. In this article, we’ll explore some of the things you need to do to prepare for a business shutdown.
Provide Advance Notice of the Shutdown
The Fair Work Act requires employers to give their employees notice of an impending business shutdown. Most Modern Awards provide that this notice should be provided at least four weeks in advance. This allows employees ample time to plan their holidays and make necessary arrangements.
Be Open and Transparent in Your Communication
Open communication with your team is vital. Engage with your employees about their leave preferences and do your best to accommodate their needs within operational constraints. Effective communication not only ensures compliance but also fosters a positive working environment.
Annual Leave Entitlements During Shutdown
You can direct employees to take a period of annual leave during a shutdown if your award or agreement allows. Many Modern Awards require at least 28 days written notice be provided to all affected employees.
Many Modern Awards have been updated over the last 12 months with changes in this area. Please ensure you check your Award before moving forward this year.
Frequently Asked Questions about Annual Leave during Shutdowns
The following table contains information on some of the most commonly asked questions regarding annual leave during shutdowns:
|My employee does not have enough accrued annual leave for the shutdown – what can we do?||If your employee does not have enough annual leave, you can both agree to other options for the period such as using leave without pay, annual leave in advance or other time off such as time in lieu.|
|How do I find out how much notice I am needed to give to employees regarding my planned shutdown?||Modern Awards (and enterprise agreements) will normally provide you with guidance that relates to your employees as to how much notice is required.|
|My shutdown period includes public holidays – what happens with these days?||The Fair Work Act stipulates how public holidays during a business shutdown should be managed. Employees who would have otherwise worked on these days are entitled to be paid for the day – it is not a day’s annual leave.|
|Does annual leave continue to accumulate during a shutdown||Yes – an employee will continue to accumulate leave during a shutdown unless they are taking leave without pay.|
|My employees aren’t covered by an award or enterprise agreement or my award does not include shutdown rules.||Employees cannot direct employees to take annual leave during a shutdown if their award or agreement does not contain rules allowing the direction. This also applies to non-award employees. However, you and your employees can agree for them to take annual leave or leave without pay.|
|How should we notifiy employees of our intended shutdown||You should refer to your award for directions on how to notify your employees of your impending shutdown. However, People Smartz does have a well defined process it uses with its clients – contact us, if you would like more information|
Need Assistance in your business?
Would you like any further information on this article? Please contact us on:
Telephone: 1800 HR Smartz (1800 477 627)