Leave, Public Holidays and Rostered Days Off (RDOs)

Paid and unpaid leave

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employees are entitled to various kinds of paid and unpaid leave. These include paid annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave, and unpaid parental leave and community service leave.

The specific rules relating to each of these kinds of leave can be complex. There may also be additional requirements contained in awards or enterprise agreements. For example, there may be requirements relating to when employees can be directed to take annual leave, or when annual leave may be cashed out. A failure to comply with these obligations can have significant consequences, including financial penalties and/or employee claims.

In addition to these leave entitlements, employees are entitled to long service leave. Employers in the building and construction industry are required to comply with the long service leave scheme that applies to the industry in South Australia – known as “Portable Long Service”. 

We can assist your business to understand your obligations that arise in relation to employee leave entitlements, and related issues. We can ensure that your policies and procedures are compliant with legislation, and tailor these to protect your interests.

Public holidays

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employees are generally entitled not to work public holidays, however an employer may request the employee to work if the request is reasonable. Whether a request is reasonable will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the employer’s workplace, the employee’s personal circumstances (i.e. family responsibilities), whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime or other payments, and the amount of notice given to the employee of the requirement to work the public holiday.

Where an employee is required to work a public holiday, there will generally be an obligation to pay a higher rate of pay in accordance with an award or enterprise agreement. There may also be other obligations, such as minimum engagement periods.

It is important for businesses to understand their obligations in respect of employees who are required to work on public holidays. We can provide assistance to manage these issues and to limit the potential for liability.

RDOs

Employees in the building and construction industry are generally entitled to RDOs, in accordance with the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010, or an enterprise agreement. We can assist your business to understand your obligations in respect of RDOs and related issues, and provide RDO calendars.