Interested in visiting family on the Gold Coast? Or maybe fulfilling that dream of taking a trip to the Canadian Rockies? Why not use your annual leave?
Annual leave, which is also known as holiday pay, enables an employee to be paid whilst taking time off work. This National Employment Standards entitlement enables full-time and part-time employees four weeks of annual leave, based on their ordinary hours of work. However, this does not apply to casual employees or those on probation.
Before you start booking that holiday, there are some changes to this entitilement in some awards.
The changes have been made by the Fair Work Commission and relate to the following areas:
- Payment for annual leave;
- Managing large (‘excessive’) annual leave balances;
- Cashing out annual leave;
- Taking annual leave in advance.
Let’s focus on the third point, cashing out your leave:
The changes to annual leave, taking effect from 29 July 2016, reveal that most awards now allow employees to cash out their leave if they do the following:
- Have a signed written agreement with their employer;
- Have at least four weeks annual leave left after the cash out;
- Don’t cash out more than two weeks each twelve months.
Under legislation, you can only cash out your holiday pay if you are under a registered agreement. In order to find out if this applies to you, go to the Fair Work Commission website and investigate your options.
If you are covered by a registered agreement, there are certain rules that must be followed when cashing out annual leave:
- An employee needs to have at least four weeks of leave remaining;
- A written agreement needs to be made each time annual leave is cashed out;
- An employer cannot force or pressure an employee to cash out their leave;
- The payment for cashed out annual leave has to be the same as what the employee would have been paid if they took the leave.
Some have noted that whilst these changes to workers’ rights reflect a greater degree of flexibility, it also highlights the status quo: an inability to place importance on recreational time.
So, when calculating whether or not you can cash out your annual leave, do consider whether it is the best option for you as opposed to taking time out from work.
If you wish to know more about your working rights, please call Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors on 02 8917 8700 for free legal advice today.