Published November 2020
While we know everyone is looking forward to a well-earned break over the festive season, there are a few things all employers should be considering and planning for right now.
Here’s our top 5:
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).
2. Shut down period – if your business is closing completely for any period (other than public holidays), you should notify your team urgently (if you haven’t already). Be sure to comply with any Award or Enterprise Agreement requirements for providing notice of your shut down.
3. Public holidays – the following dates/times are public holidays in Queensland over the festive season 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. Some Awards also contain substitution provisions that allow an employee to work then take a paid day off another time.
- 24 December 2020 (Thur) – part-day public holiday on Christmas Eve from 6pm to midnight (does not apply to all states)
- 25 December 2020 (Fri) – Christmas Day
- 26 December (Sat) – Boxing Day
- 28 December (Mon) – Boxing Day
- 1 January 2020 (Fri) – New Year’s Day
- More information can be found on the Queensland Government page.
4. Payroll processing – assess whether your regular payroll processing day falls during the festive season. 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.
5. 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.
As always, the team at Edwards HR are here to answer your questions and provide support across all areas of HR. You can reach us on the details below:
Emma Edwards – 0459 818 011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Bennett – 0497 497 342 or email@example.com