{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports & data Inspiring Australia's building professionals Business & digital Products & innovation Projects HOUSING Online The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles Fuel savings Handy pay See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Preparing for the 2023 annual shutdown

Whilst the 2023 Christmas shutdown period is still months away, it is important for businesses to start to prepare for changes that will impact the way employee’s take leave over this period. Find out what you need to know here

The annual shutdown during the Christmas and New Year holiday period is industry practice for the residential building industry, but this year employers must prepare for some changes in practice. If you have employees covered by a modern award, there are new rules and requirements that must be followed when preparing for the shutdown period. 

What has changed? 

Previously, employers were able to direct employees to take unpaid leave during the annual shutdown period where an employee did not have sufficient annual leave for the period. 

From 1 May 2023, amendments to modern awards will mean that employers must only direct employees to take paid annual leave (where available).  

If an employee does not have sufficient annual leave to cover the shutdown, the employee may elect to take leave without pay or annual leave in advance. 

What do businesses need to do now?

It is important for businesses to start preparing for the annual shutdown period by:

1. Reviewing employee leave balances

Businesses should monitor and manage employees annual leave during the year to determine which, if any, employees will not have sufficient leave to cover the shutdown period.

2. Establishing or updating annual leave workplace policies

Does your business have a policy which deals with:

The annual shutdown period:

  • The taking of annual leave throughout the year;
  • Employee’s taking annual leave in advance; and
  • An employer’s right to refuse annual leave requests if the employee will not have sufficient leave to cover the shutdown period.

If you don’t, now is the time to get these workplace policies in place. HIA’s HR Docs can assist you with workplace policies.

3. Managing annual leave requests

The Fair Work Act provides employers with the right to refuse annual leave requests, provided the refusal is not unreasonable. Businesses may need to consider refusing annual leave requests if the taking of annual leave will result in employee’s not having sufficient leave to cover a shutdown period.

As the shutdown period is an established feature of the building industry, it is unlikely to be considered unreasonable for an employer to refuse annual leave requests during the year, unless there are strong reasons to support the employees leave request. When receiving and responding to annual leave requests, it is best practice to document the request and response also.

4. Utilising other leave arrangements

If your employee doesn’t have sufficient annual leave, there are other leave entitlements the employee may choose to cover the shutdown period (at their own election), including:

  • Accrued days off;
  • time off in lieu of overtime; or
  • annual leave in advance.

On termination employers are permitted to deduct any money due to the employer that is equal to the amount paid to the employee for leave in advance that has not yet been accrued.

Share with your network:
More articles on:
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find the latest expert advice, guides and much more!

Managing your business


 

Can’t find what you need, check out other resources that might be closer to the mark.

Explore resources

Contracts Online 


 

The industry’s go-to digital platform. 

No matter the size of the job, a watertight building contract is critical to protect your business, and the current climate presents a great opportunity to go digital with your contracts.

Take me there