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'My business will close from 15 December to 15 January. Must I pay my employees for this shut-down period?'

by , 12 November 2014
Our labour experts have been inundated with leave questions from employers.

It's clear that as the year draws to a close, employers are dealing with a lot of leave issues, like leave requests and payments.

One question we've picked comes from an employer who says his business will close from 15 December 2014 to 15 January 2015. He wants to know whether or not he should pay his employees for this shut-down period.

If you want to know the answer too, keep reading...


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Paying employees for a shut-down period depends on a number of factors

 
According to the experts behind the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, whether or not to pay your employees for a shut-down period depends on a number of factors. This includes:
 
  • What you've agreed with your employees; and
  • If there's a collective agreement or sectoral determination that applies to your employment relationships that specifies the terms applicable to a shut-down period.
 
In some industries, employees take their annual leave during the shut-down period – the employees get annual leave pay. If employees don't have annual leave to their credit, then the days during the shutdown period are unpaid.
 
If you don't have specific arrangements regulating shut-down periods, you can't impose a shut-down period and force your employees to take unpaid leave.
 
It's that simple.
 
Now that you know what the law says about shut-down periods and payments, comply with labour law.
 
PS: If just like the above employer you have a labour question you want to ask, post it on our Labour & HR Club – our experts will be more than happy to answer you. Alternatively, get your hands on The Ultimate Guide to Annual Leave.

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