Can I direct my employees to take annual leave and, if so, in what circumstances?
An employee can be directed to take annual leave in the following circumstances:
- during a period of shut down (such as between Christmas and New Year)
- if the employee has an excessive accumulated annual leave balance
However, the employer’s requirement or direction to take leave must be reasonable. You should consider the following factors:
- reasonableness of the notice period given (usually 1 month notice)
- the needs, custom and practice of the business
- any previously agreed arrangements with an employee
Modern awards and enterprise agreements often provide clauses dealing with directions to take annual leave, which should be consulted when considering a directive of this nature.