When & how to apply nanny leave

The leave accrual for all fulltime permanent employees including nannies and domestic staff is 20 days annual (holiday leave) and 10 days personal/carer (sick leave). For part time employees this accrues on a pro rata basis.

Each leave accrues on an ongoing basis (doesn’t revert back to zero if not used) each year. Any unused annual leave is paid out on termination.

The annual and personal leave is the employees entitlement and the employer just can’t apply without the employees agreement.

Leave should be straight forward where the employee requests leave to the employer. You then approve any reasonable requests. As the employer, you are not required to approve leave if there is none accrued.

Any requests and approvals should be in writing, so you have an agreed paper trail for the future.

Where leave stops being straight forward, is when it’s the employer that wants the employee to take leave.

In Australia, many businesses request that employees take the 2 weeks off over the Christmas/New Years period. This is a standard listed in most employment contracts and is allowable as a ‘shut down’ under the FWO and the Miscellaneous Award.

A shut down is a planned temporary closure during which employees typically use their accrued annual leave or take unpaid leave if no leave is available.

In an ideal world the nanny would take their holidays the same time as the family.

In any situation where you are advising your employee of a shut down period it needs to be, reasonable, in writing and with a months notice.

You can then direct your nanny to take a period of annual leave or leave without pay. If you are family that travels a bit and want their nanny to be there on your return an industry standard has been to offer the nanny 50% payment while you are away.

A stand down is when employees are temporarily relieved of their duties and are not paid due to circumstances beyond the employer’s control, such as natural disasters like Covid or floods, while remaining employed. When this happens the employee is not paid but continues to accrue leave entitlements.

Keep clear records of the decision-making process and notify employees in writing, providing reasons for the stand down or shut down and its expected duration.

If you don’t want your nanny to come to work as you are sick or have a change to your plans the week before, you need to pay the employee as if they worked. When you go into an employment contract for regular permanent hours you’re legally required to meet that commitment. This is not a period that should be taken out of their leave.

Further information can be found at Fair Work and Miscellaneous Award.

Get in touch with us now and find out how paying a nanny, au pair or any other staff can become an easy process including managing the Award.