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  • Writer's pictureJack Ritchie

Closing Over Christmas? Here's What You Need to Know

Term 4 is coming to a close in most states.

This means the Christmas period is starting, which for some service means closures, and for others is business as usual (minus the public holidays).

If you're closed at any point over the Christmas period - beyond public holidays - here are some things to think about...

1. Report Your Closure to CCS

If your service is eligible for CCS, you must report any closures to the department. This lets them know that you won't be charging families over that period.

You can report your closure via your third-party Childcare Management System (CCMS) or through the Provider Entry Portal (PEP).

2. Annual Leave for Staff

There are a few things to unpack with annual leave over the Christmas period, so lets go through some of them.

Annual Leave During Christmas Closure

If a business is closed over the Christmas period, they can direct their employees to take annual leave or unpaid leave during this time.

In some circumstances, employees may not have enough annual leave to cover the closure, and therefore would have to take unpaid leave. Alternatively, you can pay annual leave in advance if the employer and employee agree to this in writing.

Public Holidays Falling On Annual Leave

If there are any public holidays (such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day) where an employee would normally work, they can receive pay for these days just like any other public holiday, and this won't come off their annual leave.

Annual Leave When the Service is Open

If your service is open over the Christmas period, you're likely to get lots of leave requests. Of course, it's up to you how you decide to manage this, but there are some rules you should think about when it comes to leave.

The Sector have a great guide on annual leave here.

3. Child-Free Days or Staff Training

Occasionally, services will start the new year - or end the current year - with a child-free day or staff training day.

Child-free days often feature:

  • Preparing the centre for the new year (deep cleaning & re-organising)

  • Staff Training

  • Workshops

  • Reflections

  • Team-Building Exercises

It's important to remind providers that YOU MUST PAY EMPLOYEES FOR ANY TIME THEY SPEND AT WORK.

Regardless of the type of work, if you ask an employee to attend their workplace to undertake tasks, you need to pay them at the appropriate rate.

Preparing for the New Year

What a year it's been. Another one significantly impact by external forces.

A huge thank you to everyone in early childhood who shows up every day to give our children the education they need.

To make the next year that little bit easier, we're slowly building our suite of FREE resources. Take a look at some of them!

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