Closing for the Holidays?

If an employer regularly operates a closedown for a holiday period, or seasonal break and requires employees to take annual holidays or unpaid time off this is referred to as an ‘annual closedown'.  A closedown can occur:

  • for an entire workplace, or
  • for part of a workforce/organisation (e.g. where a factory closes for maintenance while the office, dispatch and sales departments stay open).

A closedown often occurs at Christmas time, but some seasonal industries have closedowns at the end of a particular season. An employer can close down different parts of the workplace at different times.

If you have a customary closedown at Christmas – or plan a closedown and require employees to take annual holidays during the period of the closedown, you are required to give those employees a minimum of 14 days’ notice. This is best done in writing (a requirement in some employment agreements).  Notice of a closedown should include the start and finish date for the closedown, and what arrangements are for leave over this time. For new employees with continuous service of less than 12 months, there are some complexities.

If you would like more information about how to operate a closedown in your business email Grow HR or contact us on 06 878 5454.