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The National Employment Standards permit awards and agreements to allow employers to direct employees to take annual leave in reasonable circumstances. Many modern awards include such provisions in relation to annual close downs. For employees covered by an enterprise agreement, the rules will be determined by any provisions in the agreement.
Members are encouraged to consider their award or enterprise agreement as provisions relating to close downs vary considerably. Some awards and agreements might limit the number or length of close downs whereas others may not. Also, close downs might be limited to the period around Christmas and new year.
Modern awards and enterprise agreements with close down provisions will generally require the employer to provide employees with notice when directing annual leave to be taken. The period of notice is generally either 4 weeks or 1 month, with some awards requiring notice of 2 months.
Additionally, several awards and enterprise agreements require the notice to be in writing. Ai Group recommends that members give notice in writing in all cases.
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