Navigating office closures over the Christmas / New Year period can be a bit tricky and it’s easy to fall foul of industrial laws. But with a little planning, you can make sure everyone has a relaxing time over the festive season. Many businesses will be planning to take advantage of the traditionally quiet time between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day to close their doors. It makes sense. Business is a little slow and it provides everyone with the opportunity for a well-earned break. But if that’s you – or your clients – then you need to start planning now. A ‘shut down’ or ‘close down’ is when a business temporarily closes during slow periods of the year. (It isn’t the same as a stand down, which is when an employer sends staff home if there’s no useful work for them to do.) Directing Employees to Take Leave- Companies can direct an employee to take annual leave during a shutdown if their award or registered agreement allows it. But keep in mind that some awards require staff be given notice. If the employee doesn’t have enough annual leave to cover the shutdown, depending on the award, often an agreement can be reached for them to take unpaid leave, or annual leave in advance. So, what’s the answer? Like most things, communication is key. Speak to your clients about whether they plan to close over Christmas and make sure to let your Account Manager at the Ayers Group aware so our systems can be updated accordingly.