ANNUAL LEAVE DECISION FIRST STEP IN ADDRESSING LACK OF FLEXIBILITY IN MODERN AWARDS

By Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia, 12 March, 2015


ANNUAL LEAVE DECISION FIRST STEP IN ADDRESSING LACK OF FLEXIBILITY IN MODERN AWARDS

 

The NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, says the Fair Work Commission’s landmark decision with respect to annual leave provisions is a critical first step in addressing the lack of flexibility in the modern award system.

 

“It is very encouraging that the Fair Work Commission, led by Justice Iain Ross, has shown its preparedness to listen to the views of business so that awards can operate in a practical and sensible way in the modern environment,” said Stephen Cartwright, Chief Executive of the NSW Business Chamber and Chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Workplace Relations Committee.

 

The decision follows sustained advocacy from employer groups led by the NSW Business Chamber and ACCI, and will result in:

 

  • employers being able to direct employees to take paid annual leave in circumstances where the employee holds excessive accrued annual leave balances;
  • employers and employees being permitted to cash out a portion of annual leave, should they wish (subject to relevant safeguards);
  • employees being able to be paid annual leave in accordance with their usual pay cycle (as opposed to leave being paid up front) where the employees are paid by EFT;
  • employers being able to grant employees leave in advance, subject to protections being in place so that the employers are not left short-changed if employees leave employment with negative leave balances.

 

"The added flexibility for both employers and employees afforded by these changes will enable many workplaces to be more responsive to individual circumstances.

 

“I am especially proud that the result was achieved through the advocacy and work put in by the NSW Business Chamber’s legal practice, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors.

 

“The decision shows that the Chamber movement can achieve great outcomes if its members join together to present well-reasoned and rational cases in the Fair Work Commission.

 

“The NSW Business Chamber is now turning its attention and efforts to ensure that the cost of working on public holidays in the services sector reflects the world of 2015, not 1915,” Mr Cartwright said.

 

Elizabeth Kelleher
Public Affairs Advisor, NSW Business Chamber

Source: NSW Business Chamber