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New Shutdown Rules for Awards

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.

Which awards are changing

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


Some of the awards that will be affected are as follows:

  • Building and Construction General On-site Award

  • Cleaning Services Award

  • Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award

  • Fitness Industry Award

  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award

  • Gardening and Landscaping Services Award

  • General Retail Industry Award

  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award

  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award

  • Mining Industry Award

  • Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award

  • Real Estate Industry Award

  • Restaurant Industry Award

  • Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award

** Please note, this is not the complete list of awards affected - to check if your industry is included, please refer to the complete list in the link above.


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