We love annual leave. Those 20 glorious days a year every
fulltime employee gets to unwind, go on holiday, or have a
little staycation (yes, that's a thing). But you all know
someone, or you are someone, who just can't take a break, and
these eager beavers end up with massive leave accruals. Thankfully,
as part of its four yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work
Commission has loosened the shackles to give employers and their
workaholic employees more flexibility when it comes to annual
Unlike their awardfree counterparts, modern award covered
employees are prohibited from cashing out their annual leave unless
the applicable modern award expressly allows for it. The problem
is, many awards are silent on cashing out annual leave. Meaning
that even if an award covered employee genuinely wants to trade
their annual leave for cash, they're out of luck.
Fortunately, that's about to change. Almost all modern
awards will be amended to include an annual leave cash out term.
However, the FWC has included the following conditions as part of
only two weeks' annual leave can be cashed out in 12
the employee still needs to have four weeks' annual leave
left after the cash out; and
the cash out agreement needs to be in writing.
In addition to the freedom to cash out annual leave, the FWC
also agreed to amend most modern awards to allow annual leave to be
taken in advance and to assist with managing excessive leave
accruals. Regarding the latter, employers will be able to direct
most modern award employees, subject to particular conditions, to
take annual leave when employees have more than eight weeks (or 10
weeks for shift workers) accrued. Equally, most modern award
covered employees will gain a limited right to require employers to
grant annual leave when they have excessive accruals.
We're yet to be told when these amendments commence.
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An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
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