Annual Leave and Christmas Shutdown Periods

The enterprise agreement sets out when Westpac can and can’t direct you to take leave.

Westpac has begun communicating with staff about its intention to shut down non-essential areas across the Group over the Christmas period. The shutdown period will be for three weeks. The Westpac Group Enterprise Agreement 2019, does provide for Westpac to direct staff to take annual leave under certain circumstances.

The enterprise agreement sets out the circumstances when Westpac can and can’t direct you to take leave. Examples of when you can be directed to take leave are: when you have an excessive accrual of leave, if you haven’t taken 10 day’s leave in a row that year, or in this case during a shutdown over the Christmas period.

While Westpac may require you to take annual leave during a shutdown period, you must be given 4 weeks’ notice. The direction needs to be reasonable and also take into consideration the following factors:

  • Your personal circumstances;
  • Your leave balance;
  • Any leave already booked and approved.

If you’re put under pressure to submit a leave application that you’re uncomfortable with or you are directed to take leave that will result in your leave balance going into the negative CONTACT YOUR UNION IMMEDIATELY ON 1300 366 378. Staff should not be forced to take leave that will result in negative leave balances.

If you do not have enough annual leave to cover the Christmas shutdown period Westpac may ask you to take other forms of leave such as long service leave, or even unpaid leave. Before you agree to taking other forms of your leave contact us immediately so that we can help you to determine if the request is reasonable or permissible in the circumstances.

Annual Leave – Your Rights

The flowchart below clarifies what directions are or are not allowed regarding your annual leave. Please share it with your colleagues if they also have questions.

For a PDF version that can be downloaded, with more detailed information, click here.

If you have more questions or specific concerns, please call our Member Rights Centre on 1300 366 378.

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary