Annual Leave Entitlement: Answering 3 common questions
Aussies are taking fewer and fewer vacation days each year. While this would ordinarily be good news for employers, there are more drawbacks to business than positives.
National Employment Standards (NES) apply to all workers covered by the national workplace relations system, regardless of award and industry. They stipulate all non-casual employees have four weeks in annual leave entitlement, which continue to accrue based on ordinary hours worked. Workers in 24-hour businesses regularly working Sunday shifts and holidays get an extra week of paid leave.
Recent research found Aussies third-worst in the world for taking leaves, just behind Japan and Italy. Each year, the average person fails to use 6 days of their annual leave entitlement. Additionally, 3 in 10 workers admitted to having to leave work early from exhaustion. But 3% of workers have more than ten weeks of annual leave set aside.
Following labour laws for leave allotment
Professionals always mention technology has fundamentally changed the business-employee relationship. One of the dangers of implementing any technology communication channel is the expectation for employees always to be “on.” But research has consistently proven that allowing employees to take leaves more often can lead to increased productivity and revenue growth for businesses where they work.
So the first step to proper leave management is ensuring you allot the correct amount to all employees. Frequently, the barrier between an employee and a well-deserved holiday is an arduous filing and approval process. However, it’s still necessary for management to evaluate whether operations will be significantly affected by employee leaves.
Software solutions, like a leave calculator, exist which can streamline the process and provide a snapshot of the necessary information that can determine whether someone’s time off gets approved.
Find out how much annual leave your staff has accumulated overtime. Try our free leave calculator that uses a formula based on Fair Work’s National Employment Standards (NES).
Forced leaves: Legal business prerogative?
Did your company implement a shutdown the past Christmas and New Year holiday season? Concerns about “forced leaves” during this time are common among workers. In a 2017 study, researchers found 21% of Aussie employees, or 5.3 million individuals, were forced to take more than two weeks off over Christmas.
Some employees are frustrated by forced leave policies, as they see it as a waste of their annual leave entitlement. Newer employees especially may not have enough credits to sustain a forced leave, bringing balances into the negative. On the other hand, a business needs to avoid excess costs from overstaffing during slow periods.
Here’s what the Fair Work Ombudsman has to say:
- Employers can direct employees to use their annual leave only if their governing award or registered agreement allows it
- Businesses need to have official shutdown protocols during periods like Christmas or New Year
- Employers may direct employees to take leaves when they accumulate excess annual leave (more than eight weeks, ten for shift workers)
In essence, the practice is legal for most employers as long as they give due notice to their workforce. However, management should still evaluate whether this policy does more to destabilise the balance between employee wellness and saving costs.
Annual leaves: Usable in lieu of personal leave?
Employees have a minimum of ten personal/carer’s leave which accrue from year to year under the NES. Usually, once someone has used up all their personal leave, they’re instructed to take unpaid personal leave. Company policy also often exists wherein employees must provide proof and documentation after taking these types of leaves.
Under section 89 of the Fair Work Act 2009, it’s legal for an employee to have annual leave replaced with personal leave credits if they get sick during a period of using annual leave provided they supply adequate documentation. On the flip side, some workers lacking personal leave credits may request this balance to be taken out of their annual leave instead next time they get sick. Is this above board?
The short answer: yes, but according to an organisation’s discretion. While an employer cannot direct an employee to take annual leave instead of personal leave, they may grant the request if a worker requests and provides sufficient documentation. However, they are still well within their rights to refuse.
Read more: Working Hours and Leave Policy
State-based rules: Distinct from annual leave?
There are particular types of leaves primarily determined by state-based rules. Long service leave is one of them. These are additional vacation days someone gets above their annual leave entitlement if they have been working with an employer for a certain length of time. Queensland, for example, has it set for an additional 8.6667 weeks of paid leave after 10 years of continuous service.
The Fair Work website lists these rules for depending on location here. Note that some states also allow portable long service leave for workers in the security, community services, building and construction, coal mining, and contract cleaning industries.
Compassionate leave, on the other hand, is used separately from annual leave or personal/carer’s leave. Compassionate leave comes into play when a worker’s immediate family or household passes away or contracts a life-threatening illness or injury. Minimum entitlement is 2 days nationwide, but whether casual employees are entitled to paid or unpaid leave varies by region.
Managing workers’ annual leave entitlement is a balance between complying with NES regulations and employee well-being. Using workforce solutions like Tanda takes the guesswork out of leave and pay calculations. It frees more time for managers to make decisions with both staff well-being and productivity in mind. Give it a try today. No credit card required.
Product Updates |
Tanda hits 1 million clock ins!
Tanda has ticked over to 1 million clock-ins! That is a lot of people showing up for work. And though we may gripe and grumble about the daily grind, one million clock-ins is something we want you to celebrate with the whole team at Tanda. Tanda has been here to help you. We have helped you make payroll simple and easy. We have helped you make time theft and wasted hours of figuring out award rates a thing of the past. But today Tanda wants to acknowledge someone else in this ever-growing time and attendance tool. We want to focus on YOU. One million clock-ins on our successful cloud-based software might seem like an intangible concept. Instead, we’d like you to think of it more as an in-Tanda-ble concept. That’s people getting up early to clock in so you have your morning coffee. That’s childcare workers all over Australia clocking in to make sure your children get the best start in early learning. That’s certified companies like Subway, Nike and Telstra moving forward in the constantly changing systems of business, time and attendance. But more importantly in many ways, that’s small businesses and the backbone of Australian industries moving forward with them too. Tanda ensures no one gets left behind, and no time or attendance goes amiss for those 1 million of you who have clocked in. Though we can’t celebrate this achievement with each and everyone of you in your office, restaurant, childcare centre, hotel or whatever space it is you run your business in, we can still thank you all here from Tanda HQ. This video isn’t much, but its a small demonstration of how excited we are for all of you. Keep up to date with more exciting news from Tanda by heading to our Facebook page and giving us the old thumbs up or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more surprises to come.
Events & Media AU |
Tanda Open Data Hackathon this weekend – 17th & 18th April
This article is about the 2015 event. Go to hack.tanda.co for 2016’s event details! The Tanda Open Data Hackathon is upon us! Programmers, designers and developers are flocking to Brisbane for Tanda’s first Open Data Hackathon. In a digital era where everything is reachable from the click of a button, it’s no surprise there are now marathons and competitions for the digitally oriented too. Hackathons, e-conferences and everything in between can be a great way to meet new faces in your industry and carve out your own opportunities in the workforce. You can come along as a lone wolf hunting down open data, or bring a pack of friends to brainstorm together. On the first night after pitches, that’s when you’ll have a chance to form your final teams and get ready to compete. Tanda’s Hackathon will be taking place over two locations. Day 1 will see us at our own Tanda HQ for meet’n’greet, drinks and pitches. Then, a fresh start (and a free breakfast) on Saturday morning will begin at Brisbane’s River City Labs. The great facilities at this space will hopefully give all attendants the comfort they need to execute a great pitch. It’s a Learning Experience The main drive of these types of events is that everyone should walk out feeling that learnt something. Whether it’s something a team partner has shown you while trying to create something awesome under pressure, or a competitor reveals a clever trick in their presentation. There’s no point to an idea if you don’t share it. It’s a Networking Opportunity Whether it’s the company hosting the Hackathon or a fellow competitor at the event these are the kind of industry events where you can actually stand out for future employees. Instead of selling yourself in an annoying verbal resume at some cocktail event you can show potential employers your skills in action. It’s a push in the Right Direction Not only will you meet new people, you will receive feedback from the two judges for Tanda’s Hackathon. The first judge will be Tanda’s very own Adam Lyons who spends his time all over Australia helping to implement savvy programs for growth in Australian businesses. Our Guest Judge for the Tanda Open Data Hackathon is Keran McKenzie. Keran has been on the scene helping take start-ups to sky heights for the past 20 years. He’s come up all the way from Melbourne to assess your ideas and test your skills. It’s a chance to help a Great Cause This Hackathon is a “Hack It Forward” kind of event. All proceeds made in this event will go back into student funding for IT, programming, and related student clubs at QUT and UQ. As a Start-Up company ourselves Tanda knows the ideas start with you guys – the students, the idealists, the dreamers and the young entrepreneurs.
Clients & Partners AU Events & Media AU |
Tanda “Clocks In” to the Xero Roadshow!
Xero is hitting the road in February, taking their team of cloud accounting experts on the road to answer your questions. We’ve been invited along and are looking forward to catching up with our existing partners as well as meeting plenty of new ones across the country. Using Xero’s API we are helping businesses (and their advisors) understand and control their staff costs. Our time clocks, rosters, and customisable award interpretation take the hassle out of payroll and give you insight that you just can’t get with paper timesheets and excel rosters. Business with over 15 staff in all industries are making huge efficiency savings using Tanda, all over Australia. For more info before the day take a look at www.tanda.co Most importantly though, come in and say hi! It’s free to attend the Xero roadshow and there’s even CPD credits available – so there’s literally no reason not to go. If you haven’t already, be sure to register at www.xero.com/au/roadshow Where are we stopping on the Xero roadshow? Here’s the list of places and dates. Bendigo – Monday 3 February Melbourne East – Tuesday 4 February Melbourne CBD – Wednesday 5 February Geelong – Thursday 6 February Albury – Tuesday 11 February Sunshine Coast – Tuesday 11 February Brisbane – Wednesday 12 February Dubbo – Wednesday 12 February Gold Coast – Thursday 13 February Wollongong – Friday 14 February Newcastle – Monday 17 February Parramatta – Tuesday 18 February Sydney – Wednesday 19 February Canberra – Thursday 20 February Adelaide – Monday 24 February Perth – Wednesday 26 February If you have a client that could benefit from using Tanda, or if you have any questions. Come say ‘hi’ or, If you’d like more information about Tanda before we visit a city near you, give us a call on 1300 859 117.