Long Service Leave, Annual Leave, Unpaid Leave

Hi everyone:

Question, if, you, get Annual Leave, Long service leave, but, you are financial seems quite good, and just want Unpaid leave for a short break, does it legally acceptable?


  • Pretty sure there's nothing legal / illegal about it but just whether your work is gonna allow it. Depends on how much leave you have sometimes, work places don't like staff to have too much leave accrued because it's a financial liability for them.

  • It is up to your employer. Since you still accrue leave during this peiord, your employer may not agree with it.

    It is better to take leave unless you are in other special situations. Super is payable, but may not payable for the leave to be paid after termination.

  • Most companies have a threshold when annual leave is too much, normally between 100-200 hours from my experience.

  • Not me, but didn't feel comfortable even you work hard, but, can't control your leave and you don't want to be lie like a lot of people do to take sick leave etc.

    • normally your employment contract and EBA governs how what leaves you should be taking. normally organisation prefer people to take annual leaves before getting on unpaid leave. however they can allow you to talk half paid leave so basically you get paid for half day each day ! everything depends upon EBA and it is legally binding to both employer and employee so check your EBA.

  • Accrued employee leave is a monetary liability to a company in accounting terms, like a debt.
    For that reason most employers want employees to take their leave.
    Unpaid leave is usually granted when an employee has no accrued leave.
    If your boss is totally dumb you might get unpaid leave approved, otherwise its highly unlikely.

    • Not just that. If f you accrue leave, THEN got a raise, the leave is not at the new rate o the new salary. Win for you but not for the company.

  • Covid has been the perfect excuse for businesses to reduce their leave liabilities.

  • Up to your company but no benefit for them so would 99.9999% say no.
    If could be done I’d do it to delay wages at a higher pay rate, in a subsequent tax year.

  • You can always ask your employer to which they can reply no. They don't need to provide you with any reason as there is no entitlement to unpaid leave in the situation you have described - unless your have an EBA or contract that states otherwise.

  • Company wanted us to be on zero annual leave by EOFY due to covid for financial reason. Also asked us for reduction in salary. Ended up taking non paid leave as an alternative to salary reduction. As for annual I'm following my contract which says I should stay at or below 4wks at EOFY.
    In your case if you book your annual leave for the future and require leave at short notice, you should be able to take non paid leave assuming you have none annual leave left. If you don't end up using annual leave due to covid (flights not resuming) just push back leave dates

  • Annual leave, for you, is:

    • easier to trade in for days off (compared to unpaid when you have no balance)
    • can appreciate in value when you get a raise
    • realises in $ terms when you use it or leave company

    So if you take unpaid leave, you're effectively leaving some money on the table, depending on interest rates, and your opportunity cost of using savings. Given interest rates are so low, impact would be less. And situationally, not much chance for a raise either

    E.g. say you're paid $1000 a week after tax. Your savings (worse overall if you have a mortgage) is now $1k behind were you would've been if you took a week off when you had enough AL.

  • Doubling down on what the employer doesnt want.

  • I’m going to stick my neck out here. Chop it off if you want. I have worked for several foreign based owners and their expectations are very different to what the Fair Work act stipulates especially towards workers from their own country. If the OP is working for, and I stress, IF, an employer who does not comply with Australian employment law it may be that the question may have come about as the result of this. The OP may want to get advice from Fair Work Australia. I have seen some amazing practices such as fining staff for poor performance and deduction of wages for cash register errors and non payment for services from customers to name a few. Many migrant employees just accept this as normal. Fair Work have interpreters there to help. Ph 13 13 94

    • Wow. Never thought of that. I’d only considered suggesting ask and see as some have… It’s good of you to stick your next out :)

  • If you have a good reason other than just wanting some time off, you will have a chance. Especially if they’re not operating at full capacity at the moment. It won’t hurt to ask. Having a spouse with a terminal illness worked for me, though I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, it truly sucks.

  • It depends where you work, but most employers are reasonable and know that a happy employee will work harder, be more loyal etc.
    I'd suggest asking your employer and telling them why you want unpaid leave and see what they say.
    I know that in the past I've allowed staff to take unpaid leave so that they could save their paid leave up for a wedding/honeymoon or an overseas trip where they want to still have done money coming in.