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Manage staff annual leave and leave loading

Plan for annual leave to keep your staff happy and cash flow positive

On this page

  • Calculate staff annual leave
  • Create an annual leave policy using our template 
  • Understand leave with public holidays
  • Make sure your cash flow is in order

How much annual leave?

Most full-time workers are entitled to four weeks paid annual leave for every 12 months worked.  

It's up to each employer and employee to agree on when, and how long for paid annual leave may be taken. 

Employees who regularly work shifts on Sundays and public holidays in businesses that operate 24 hours a day seven days a week, are entitled to an extra week of paid annual leave.

Annual leave is usually paid at the same rate as ordinary hours. Depending on conditions of employment, an annual leave loading (usually 17.5 percent) may also be payable.

Part-time employees are entitled to four weeks annual leave – paid on a pro rata basis. Casual workers generally don't get annual leave but are paid a loading on top of their normal rate of pay to compensate.

Use the Fair Work leave calculator below to help you work out the amount of annual leave owing to a staff member.

Fair Work leave calculator

Create an annual leave policy

Use our Human Relations (HR) manual template to ensure all staff are clear about how your business deals with annual leave.

HR Policy and Procedure Manual template (DOCX 216.86 KB)DOCX icon

Do I have to pay leave loading?

Leave loading is money paid to an employee on top of their normal pay, to compensate them for expenses during annual leave.

You'll only have to pay leave loading if it's outlined in your employee's award or workplace agreement.

Asking staff to take compulsory leave over Christmas

Under the Fairwork Act 2009, any employer can direct employees to take annual leave for a period of any shutdown over Christmas. This can be a great way to maximise productivity for your business.

Keep in mind though, the act specifies the employee must have the leave accumulated. If the employer wants employees to take unpaid leave – they need the employee's consent.

Alternatively, the employer could allow the employee paid leave in advance of it accruing. Then the employee isn't entitled to any further leave until they accrue enough to cover the advance.

It may also be sensible to get an agreement from those employees (in writing) that if they fail to accrue enough additional leave prior to termination, the amount which remains advanced can be deducted from any other final payments to be made on termination.

Know when the public holidays land this Christmas by checking out our public holiday listings below.

Victorian public holidays

Annual leave and your cash flow

Making sure your cash flow is in order is one of the most important steps in making a business successful.  

Factor in your staff's leave into your cash flow forecasting – so you don't get caught short.

Amount of leave

Know how much leave your employees are entitled to for the forecast period by using the Fair Work leave calculator.

Pay amounts

Calculate the amount employees should be paid for leave during the forecast period including leave loading. See above to find out if you have to pay leave loading.

Cash flow

Plan ahead with cash flow forecasting.