With the Christmas holidays just around the corner early childhood services will be shutting down for a period of time and many of you will be on annual leave. Do you know how much annual leave you receive, how much annual leave you accumulate? The following article will provide you with details on your annual leave entitlements according to the Children’s Services Award 2010.
Taking Annual Leave during the Christmas Period
For centres that are closing down during the Christmas holidays, you will be directed to take annual leave during this time.
If you don’t have enough leave to cover this shut down you will have to:
- take all of your accrued paid leave
- take unpaid leave for a maximum of 4 weeks
- agree with your director to take annual leave wholly or partly in advance
How Much Annual Leave Do You Receive
As a full time or part time educator (except if you are a casual) you are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service you complete with your current centre. Your entitlement to annual leave accrues on a continuous basis according to the number of ordinary hours you have worked.
For example – Jane is a part time educator who work 30 hours per week for a year.
During one year, she will accumulate 120 hours of annual leave (30 x 4 weeks).
During the Christmas vacation, when your centre is shut down you will continue to accumulate annual leave while on paid leave during the shutdown of the centre.
How Does Annual Leave Accumulate
Annual leave accumulates from the first day of your employment, even if you are on a probation period. It accumulates gradually during the year and any unused annual lave will roll over from year to year. You will accrue annual leave when you are on:
- paid leave such as paid annual leave and paid sick and carer’s leave
- community service leave including jury duty
- long service leave
You do not accumulate annual leave when you’re on:
- unpaid annual leave
- unpaid sick/carer’s leave
- unpaid parental leave
Payment Required When You Take Annual Leave
Your annual leave is paid at your base pay rate for all ordinary hours worked. For example if you work a 8 hour day then you will be paid for 8 hours of each day you would typically work. In addition you will also be paid an annual leave loading of 17.5%. This does not include extra payments such as:
- overtime rates
Annual Leave When You’re Sick or Injured
If you are sick or injured while on annual leave, you can use your paid sick or carer’s leave entitlements instead of using your annual leave. Your director can still request that you provide notice and evidence (such as a doctors certificate) while you’re on annual leave. Your director can’t tell you to take annual leave while you’re taking sick or carer’s leave though.
Cashing Out Annual Leave
Another option for you is to cash out your annual leave.
To do this you will need to have:
- at least 4 weeks annual leave left after the cash out
- a signed written agreement with your employer that outlines the amount of leave being cashed out, the amount you will be paid and the date it will be paid. If you are under 18 your parent or guardian must also sign it.
- your employers have to keep this agreement in your records.
The payment for cashed out annual leave has to be the same as what you would have been paid if you took the leave.
You cannot cash out more than 2 weeks each 12 months.
Your employer can't force or pressure you to cash out annual leave
Annual Leave When Employment Ends
When you leave the centre, you will be paid out all your unused annual leave as part of your final pay. This payment also includes annual leave loading.
As an employee it’s important to know what you’re entitled to and this information should help you understand your annual leave entitlements.
Annual Leave, Fair Work Ombudsman, Reference No: 1779 – 1792
Direction To Take Annual Leave, Fair Work Ombudsman, Reference No: 1827-1840
Children’s Services Award 2010, Fair Work Ombudsman