Annual Leave and Loading

All employees, except casual employees, are entitled to a minimum of four weeks annual leave, for each year they work.

Annual leave accrues on a pro-rata basis and you don’t have to work a full year before you are entitled to take your annual leave. For example, if you work half a year without taking any leave, you will have accrued and be entitled to half your annual leave.

Some awards, enterprise agreements or contracts of employment provide for more than four weeks annual leave. You should always refer to your Modern Award, Enterprise Agreement or Employment Contract to find out how much annual leave you are entitled to.

If you are an employee who is entitled to annual leave, you can take any, or part of any, annual leave owing, with your employer’s approval. Your employer can refuse you taking leave and reasons could include:

  • other staff are on leave at the same time
  • you are asking for leave during a busy time
  • you haven’t provided sufficient notice.

So it’s good practice to ensure your leave has been approved before you book any holidays.

Your employer can also ask you to take annual leave if you have too much owing to you, or if their business needs to be closed over a certain period. Any request that you to take annual leave should be reasonable and you should be given reasonable notice.

Leave Loading

Leave loading is an extra payment on top of your annual leave pay. It is usually 17.5% of your normal pay.  Your Modern Award, Enterprise Agreement or Employment Contract will state if you are entitled to leave loading.

Not all employees are entitled to leave loading. If you are not sure whether you are entitled to leave loading, you should ask your Manager or Human Resources and if still in doubt contact Fair Work.

For Organisations, implementing a simple yet clear Annual Leave Policy is important to establishing expectations for all employees.