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Christmas shutdown reminder

November 25, 2019

With Christmas around the corner you need to take the time to ensure you have appropriate arrangements in place for your employees and any contracts with works in progress.

Employment Arrangements

Public Holidays over this Christmas / New Year season are:


Public Holidays


Christmas Day

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Boxing Day

 Thursday 26 December 2019

New Year's Day

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Australia Day (Substitute Public Holiday) 

Monday 27 January 2020


Don’t forget that time taken by employees as Annual Leave does not include Public Holidays and Rostered Days Off.

Work in Progress

If you use HIA Building Contracts, and you have an ongoing project that will not be completed after the Christmas / New Year period, you should give written notice to your client informing them of your intention to shut down over this period. 

If you had not contemplated the shutdown period within the contract period and now foresee the contract running past the completion date, HIA contracts entitle you to extend the time for the building period for the industry shutdown period. 

This however is not an automatic extension and the procedure within the contract must be followed to claim this extension of time. This involves the giving of a written notice within 10 working days after becoming aware of the cause and the extent of the delay. The notice should inform the owner of the exact amount of extra time that is to be added to the building period due to the shutdown.

For any new contracts you sign up where you expect to start works before Christmas, you should take the shutdown period into account when calculating your building period as this delay is anticipated.

Site Security

With the annual shutdown and school holidays, it is important that children and members of the public in general are not exposed to any hazards on your site. Where hazards are present on your site, you need to ensure:

  • they are controlled to prevent injury or death
  • that members of the public are not exposed to them if they are uncontrolled.

You will need a perimeter fence if your risk assessment identifies that this is the only way to control or minimise the risks. You should strongly consider installing a fence around the site where it is:

  • near a school or route where children travel to and from school
  • close to parks and recreational areas
  • in a built up area.

Make sure your fencing is adequate for its purpose by checking that it is a suitable height to deter entry (e.g. 1.8m high); is constructed from dedicated materials; is difficult to climb; is difficult to gain access underneath; is stable and able to withstand anticipated loads; and has secure gates and joints that do not present a weak point for entry.

It will also be important to take steps to ensure that items like appliances, unfixed materials and equipment are hidden, locked away or removed from site to minimise the potential for theft or injury.

For more information please contact your workplace advisor on 1300 650 620.