Australia: An essential What to Do guide to common employment issues for caravan park operators

A vital tool for all caravan park operators.

  1. What to do when a full/part time employee has a lot of accrued leave and you want them to take it?

In accordance with the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (Hospitality Award), if a full/part time employee has more than eight weeks of accrued annual leave:

  • you may seek to reach an agreement with the employee on how to reduce or eliminate the annual leave; and
  • if you have tried to genuinely reach agreement with the employee on how to reduce or eliminate the annual leave but no agreement is reached, you may direct the employee, in writing, to take a period of paid annual leave, provided that:
    • it would not result in the employee's remaining accrued annual leave being less than six weeks;
    • the period of paid annual leave that the employee is directed to take must not be less than one week; and
    • you must not require the employee to take the period of paid annual leave either less than eight weeks or more than 12 months after the written direction is given.
  1. What to do when a full/part time employee asks to "cash out" their annual leave?

If a full/part time employee covered by the Hospitality Award asks to "cash out" their annual leave, you are entitled (but not required) to agree to this request, provided that:

  • you enter into a signed written agreement with the employee regarding the "cashing out";
  • the employee will have a balance of at least four weeks' annual leave remaining after they have "cashed out"; and
  • the employee does not cash out more than two weeks in any 12 month period.
  1. What to do when you think an employee may have abandoned their employment

When an employee does not attend work and does not seek approval, or provide reason/s, for their failure to attend work, you do not have an automatic right to terminate their employment. Before you can proceed to dismiss the employee, you must make genuine attempts to contact the employee and understand the reason/s for their absence.

What constitutes a genuine attempt? This can be as simple as making reasonable attempts (dictated by common sense) to contact the employee to explain their absence.

  1. What to do when you are planning a staff party?
  • Specify clear start and end times of the party.
  • If serving alcohol, ensure alcohol is served responsibly and not after the designated end time. Non-alcoholic drinks and food should also be available.
  • Nominate a designated "sober" person to monitor the revelries and, if required, take appropriate action.
  • If an employee is 'acting up' at the function, make sure you 'nip it in the bud' immediately.
  • Ensure that safe transportation home is available and advise employees that they should not drive if they are intending on drinking.
  • Remind employees of any workplace policies, distribute the relevant policies (if applicable) and warn employees about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.
  1. What to do when you need to temporarily replace an employee who is on parental leave?

Before engaging an employee to perform the work of another employee who is taking parental leave, you must notify the replacement employee:

  • that the engagement to perform work is temporary;
  • of the rights that the parental leave employee has (as set out in subsections 77A(2) to (6) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act));
  • that the parental leave employee is entitled to a return to work guarantee;
  • of the effect of section 78 of the FW Act which provides the employer with a right to require the employee taking unpaid parental leave to return to work if the employee ceases to have any responsibility for the care of the child.
  1. What to do when an employee may have engaged in misconduct?

Subject to any disciplinary policy which your workplace may have in place (which could vary the process), the following is a "what to do" guide:

  1. What to do when an employee injures themselves at work?
  • Ensure the injured employee seeks medical treatment.
  • Immediately notify WorkSafe of the incident if it has, or could have, caused serious injury or death to the employee.
  • Record the injury in your Register of Injuries.
  • If the employee is not able to return to their normal duties, look for tasks that
  • your worker can do (subject at all times to medical advice) and discuss with them.
  • Keep in touch with the injured worker if they are absent from work for a period of time to recover.
  1. What to do when an employee lodges a workers compensation claim for an injury that did not occur at, and is not related to, work?

If an employee lodges a worker's compensation claim for an injury that did not occur at, and is not related to, work you should:

  • immediately notify the (workers compensation) insurer that you dispute it;
  • send written correspondence to the insurer detailing your objection to the claim and providing all relevant information and documentation as soon as practicable after being notified of the claim; and
  • keep in contact with the insurer during the period that the insurer is assessing whether it will accept or reject the claim.
  1. What to do when you need a full/part time employee to work on a public holiday?

In accordance with the National Employment Standards (with which, generally, all employers in Australia must comply):

  • you may request a full/part time employee to work on a public holiday provided the request is reasonable; and
  • a full/part time employee may refuse any reasonable request if the refusal is reasonable.

In determining whether a request, or refusal, is reasonable, a number of factors must be taken into account including the nature of the workplace and employee's work; the employee's personal circumstances (such as whether the employee has family responsibilities); whether the employee could reasonably expect a request to work (for example, does their employment contract give such an expectation? Tip: it should); whether the employee's entitlements reflect an expectation to work public holidays (for example, whether the employee receives payment of penalty rates); the amount of notice given (both of being required to work and of any refusal), and the type of employment (full time, part time, casual).

  1. 10. What to do when an employee or former employee requests to have access to their employee records?

You are obliged to make copies of an employee's records available at the request of an employee or former employee (noting that you are required to keep employee records for seven years).

In accordance with your record keeping obligations under the FW Act, you must maintain records relating to the employee's name, commencement date and the basis of the employee's employment (full or part time and permanent, temporary or casual), records relating to pay, leave, superannuation contributions, termination, individual flexibility arrangements and/or guarantees of annual earnings.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. Madgwicks is a member of Meritas, one of the world's largest law firm alliances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.