Employers generally like to get annual leave off their books.
Forced Leave: Employers can force staff to take leave during an annual closedown (see the modern award), or if they have 8 weeks accrued and you give written notice of at least 8 weeks of when they must start the leave.
Cashed Out Leave: For some employees, you can cash out their annual leave. The cashing out for enterprise agreement and award free staff has just been extended to Award employees. The cash out deal must be written, must be voluntary, at least 4 weeks annual leave must be left once the cash out is paid and must meet the following tests:
- Award Free Employees: see section 94 of the Fair Work Act 2009
- Enterprise Agreements: depends but generally provide for at least 5 days up to 20 days if at least the same amount of leave was taken in the last year
- Modern Awards: for the first pay period on or after 29 July 2016, only 2 weeks per annum can be cashed out each year.