5 Things to Action Before Xmas

Published October 2023


Christmas is only around the corner and while we know everyone is looking forward to a well-earned break, there are a few things all employers should be considering and planning for right now.

Here’s our top 5 tips to get yourself ahead of the Christmas craziness:

  1. Annual Leave – if you or your team will be taking annual leave, be sure to confirm dates, review leave requests against rosters, and let people know if they have an insufficient balance to cover their leave period (usually, you would treat this as unpaid leave or come to an agreement on a negative leave balance – be sure to contact the Edwards HR team for guidance if you wish to allow negative balances or are unsure of the Award provisions that apply to your team).

  1. Shut Down Period – if your business is closing completely for any period (other than public holidays), you should notify your team now if you haven’t already. Be sure to comply with any Award or Enterprise Agreement requirements for providing notice of your shut down and ensure to check the new Annual Shutdown Leave Provisions.

To find out more about shut down periods and your obligations to notify employees, you can read our recent ‘Christmas Shutdown’ article.

  1. Public Holidays – the following dates/times are public holidays in Queensland and must be paid accordingly. Generally, this means permanent employees are paid for the day (if it is a day they usually work), or penalty rates will apply if they work on the public holiday. You should refer to the applicable Award or Enterprise Agreement for the correct penalty rates and substitution provisions.
  • 24 December 2023 (Sun) – part-day public holiday on Christmas Eve from 6pm to midnight (does not apply to all states)
  • 25 December 2023 (Mon) – Christmas Day
  • 26 December 2023 (Tues) – Boxing Day
  • 1 January 2023 (Mon) – New Year’s Day

More information can be found on the Queensland Government page here.

For public holiday dates in other states and territories, check this page by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

  1. Payroll Processing – assess whether your regular payroll processing day falls during the festive season or any shut down period. If it does, particularly if it falls on a public holiday, consider whether you need to make alternative arrangements (for example, processing the day prior). Be sure to communicate any changes with your team ahead of time and have all leave requests approved in advance.

  1. Christmas Parties – Christmas parties are a great time to get everyone together and celebrate the year. While many people are keen to let their hair down, you should remember that work-related functions are an extension of the workplace no matter when or where they are held. Your team should be reminded of this along with your expectations about appropriate behaviour. Next fortnight we’ll provide further information about topic, including risks and how to manage these effectively – be sure to keep an eye out!

If you are after some inspiration to help you decide what to do for your Christmas party, read our latest article ‘What should we do for our Christmas Party?’

For more guidance about this update, or to find out how Edwards HR can support your business, contact our team today on 07 3568 0866.

Feel free to share this update with others in your network.

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