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Rest Breaks Entitlements

Hours worked

Rest break (paid)

Meal break (unpaid) 

Less than 4 hours No rest break No meal break
4 hours or more but less than 5 hours One 10 minute rest break No meal break
5 hours or more but less than 7 hours One 10 minute rest break One meal break
30 - 60 minutes
7 hours of more but less than 10 hours Two 10 minute rest breaks, with one taken in the first half of the shift and another taken in the second half of the shift One meal break
30 - 60 minutes
10 hours of more Two 10 minute rest breaks, with one taken in the first half of the shift and another taken in the second half of the shift Two meal breaks 30 - 60 minutes



Annual Leave Entitlements

Public holidays

On public holidays, employees who would usually work on that day are entitled to a day off with pay (subject to reasonable requests to work).

Employees who don’t work on a public holiday

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to have paid time off from work on public holidays.

If a business is closed on a public holiday, or if full-time or part-time employees take the day off, an employer must pay them at their base rate for the ordinary hours they would have otherwise worked. The base rate of pay doesn't include any incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.

Employees who don’t normally work on the day which the public holiday falls, don't receive payment.

Employees who work on a public holiday

Under many awards and agreements, an employee who works on a public holiday will receive a penalty rate or loading for the hours they work, or they may be provided with time off instead of payment of penalty rates or equivalent time added to their annual leave.

Refer to your relevant award, agreement or contract of employment to see what additional entitlements may apply.

Rosters can't be changed to avoid the payment of public holiday entitlements and penalties.

Substituting public holidays

If under the law of a State or Territory, a day or part-day is substituted for any public holiday (including part day holidays), then the substituted day or part-day is the public holiday.

An award or agreement (including transitional award or agreement based instruments) may also allow for an employer and employee to agree to a substitution of this kind, or an agreement may be made between an employer and an award/agreement free employee to substitute a public holiday. An employer must not exert undue influence or undue pressure on an employee to agree to a substitution.

Where a public holiday is substituted, the public holiday entitlements apply to the substituted day.

Public holidays & annual leave

Public holidays are separate to annual leave.This means that if a public holiday falls during a period of paid annual leave an employee must be paid for the public holiday separately.This day must not be deducted from the employee’s annual leave balance.

Annual leave

Under the NES, all employees (except casual employees) get paid annual leave based on their ordinary hours of work. An annual leave entitlement that comes from an award or agreement may be different, but cannot be less than the NES entitlement. See details here.

Sick leave

Sick leave is now known as personal leave and can be taken when the employee is sick or injured or when the employee needs to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick, injured or has an unexpected emergency. Learn more.
Leave accrual

Annual leave, paid personal/carer’s leave and long service leave accumulate over time. This section explains how this works.
Personal, carer's & compassionate leave

All except casual employees are entitled to paid personal leave which is the same as sick leave. There are also entitlements to paid and unpaid carer’s leave and compassionate leave. For details, see this section.

Parental leave

Parental leave is an unpaid period of time off that employees get when they become parents. This entitlement covers the birth of children and also adoption.

Long service leave

Long service leave is a period of paid leave for employees who have been working for the same business for a long period of time. It is generally governed by state and territory laws and can usually be taken after 10 years continuous service.


information courtesy of the Fair Work Ombudsman



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