| Fair Work

New shutdown rules for awards

Many awards will have new rules on shutdowns from 1 May 2023.

What’s changing

From 1 May 2023, many awards will have updated rules on taking annual leave during a shutdown.

A shutdown is when a business temporarily closes, such as during Christmas and New Year. Learn more about shutdowns at Direction to take annual leave during a shutdown.

The new rules mean:

  • Employers may require employees to take paid annual leave during a temporary shutdown
  • Employers must provide at least 28 days’ written notice of the temporary shutdown period to all impacted employees
  • The requirement to take annual leave must be reasonable
  • The notice period can be reduced through an agreement between the employer and the majority of impacted employees
  • An employee who doesn’t have enough paid annual leave to cover the whole period can form an agreement with their employer for other options for the days not covered, such as: Using accrued time off, Annual leave in advance, or Leave without pay.

The employee will be paid for any public holidays during the shutdown period that fall on days they would normally work.

Who the changes apply to

These new rules apply to employees and employers covered by one of the affected awards.

We have updated our website information on directions to take annual leave during a shutdown. This includes for popular awards and industries like:

  • Building and construction
  • Hair and beauty
  • Hospitality (including fast food and restaurants)
  • Real estate.

Access your industry from Direction to take annual leave during a shutdown page. Just select your industry from the drop-down menu to get award-specific information.

Which awards are changing

Unsure of your award? Use the 3-step Find my award tool to help work out what you’re covered by. Reading the award can help you determine if you’re covered by it too.

If you know your award already, you can access a copy directly from our List of awards page. From 1 May, your award will include the new rules for shutdowns.