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New Annual Leave Rules in Shutdown Periods

Deputy Simplifies Compliance for Australian Businesses

As the festive season draws near in Australia, businesses are urged to take note of the recent changes in annual leave regulations during shutdown periods. These new obligations, effective from May 1, 2023, impact employees employed under a modern award and are the result of rulings by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in August and December 2022. 


Traditionally, it has been standard practice for businesses to shut down during the holiday season from Christmas into the first weeks of the new year. However, the recent changes require employers to provide their affected employees with 28 days written notice of the shutdown period. This written notice must also be given to new employees as soon as reasonably practicable if they are engaged within 28 days of the impending shutdown. This change ensures employees have ample time to plan their annual leave during the shutdown period.


The changes made by the FWC apply to all employees covered by 78 modern awards and affect employers directing employees to take paid annual leave during a shutdown. However, the FWC has not granted employers the power to direct employees to take unpaid leave during this period, which may present challenges for some businesses.


Deputy assists businesses in navigating these new rules via Newsfeed, a centralised communication tool that makes it easy to streamline and track compliance obligations related to written requests and acknowledgements, helping to ensure that all parties are on the same page. It has never been easier for employers to keep employees informed about updates and requirements related to annual leave and shutdown periods. 


In this period of change and adaptation, employers must be well-informed about their obligations regarding annual leave and unpaid leave during shutdown periods. Employees should also understand their rights and entitlements in these situations. Effective communication and collaboration are the keys to successful compliance.


Deputy encourages businesses to take proactive steps by reviewing their existing employment contracts, leave policies, and procedures. Understanding and implementing these changes not only supports legal compliance but also fosters a harmonious working environment.


“Deputy is committed to helping businesses navigate these regulatory changes. With Deputy's Newsfeed feature and expert support, employers can stay up to date and align their annual leave policies with the latest requirements,” said Deepesh Banerji, Chief Product Officer at Deputy. 


"Deputy understands that keeping up with evolving regulations can be challenging for businesses," said Emma Seymour, CFO at Deputy. "Platforms like Deputy provide employers with an effective way to achieve compliance with annual leave rules during shutdown periods. By embracing this technology, businesses can streamline their compliance processes and maintain open lines of communication with their workforce."

Modern Awards Impacted by New Annual Leave Rules.

1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award
2. Aircraft Cabin Crew Award
3. Airline Operations–Ground Staff Award
4. Alpine Resorts Award

5. Aluminium Industry Award

6. Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award

7. Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award

8. Aquaculture Industry Award

9. Asphalt Industry Award

10. Banking, Finance and Insurance Award

11. Black Coal Mining Industry Award  

12. Building and Construction General On-site Award

13. Business Equipment Award

14. Car Parking Award

15. Cemetery Industry Award

16. Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award

17. Cleaning Services Award

18. Clerks—Private Sector Award

19. Coal Export Terminals Award

20. Commercial Sales Award

21. Concrete Products Award

22. Contract Call Centres Award

23. Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award

24. Electrical Power Industry Award

25. Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award

26. Fitness Industry Award

27. Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award

28. Gardening and Landscaping Services Award

29. Gas Industry Award

30. General Retail Industry Award

31. Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award

32. Hair and Beauty Industry Award

33. Health Professionals and Support Services Award

34. Higher Education Industry—General Staff—Award

35. Horse and Greyhound Training Award

36. Hospitality Industry (General) Award

37. Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award

38. Joinery and Building Trades Award

39. Journalists Published Media Award

40. Legal Services Award

41. Local Government Industry Award

42. Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award

43. Meat Industry Award

44. Mining Industry Award

45. Mobile Crane Hiring Award

46. Miscellaneous Award

47. Nursery Award

48. Nurses Award

49. Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award

50. Pest Control Industry Award

51. Pharmaceutical Industry Award

52. Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award

53. Poultry Processing Award

54. Premixed Concrete Award

55. Professional Employees Award

56. Racing Clubs Events Award

57. Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award

58. Real Estate Industry Award

59. Registered and Licensed Clubs Award

60. Restaurant Industry Award

61. Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award

62. Road Transport and Distribution Award

63. Salt Industry Award

64. Seafood Processing Award

65. Security Services Industry Award

66. Silviculture Award

67. Storage Services and Wholesale Award

68. Sugar Industry Award

69. Supported Employment Services Award

70. Surveying Award

71. Telecommunications Services Award

72. Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award

73. Timber Industry Award

74. Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award

75. Water Industry Award

76. Wine Industry Award

77. Wool Storage, Sampling, and Testing Award

78. Broadcasting and Recorded Entertainment Award

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