NSW Treasury Circular

M2013-10 Christmas Closedown 2013-2014


Supersedes M2012-17

Detailed Outline

The Christmas closedown is designed to encourage all appropriate areas of public sector agencies not involved in the delivery of front line services to shut down over the Christmas/New Year period. State Owned Corporations are also encouraged to maximise the taking of recreation leave by staff wherever possible.

Closedown Dates

The Christmas closedown period for 2013-14 is from Wednesday 25 December 2013 to Friday 3 January 2014 inclusive.

As well as enabling employees to enjoy valuable time off with family and friends over the peak holiday period, the closedown is an important part of the NSW Government's strategy to reduce recreation leave and accrued work time liabilities throughout the public sector.

  • Staff not involved in the delivery of necessary services should be encouraged to take full advantage of this closedown period and managers should also be encouraged to release staff wherever possible and appropriate. Frontline services are not to be shut down.
  • Closedown arrangements will vary between agencies and the decision as to which areas are appropriate to be closed down, and the extent of that closedown, is to be made on a case by case basis by the agency's Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It may, for example, involve all or sections of an agency being closed down, including partial closedown of a section (i.e. skeleton staffing).
  • Agencies should also consider utilising temporary assignment provisions to assign staff not on leave to areas where work is continuing during the closedown period.
  • CEOs should ensure managers hold discussions with employees prior to the implementation of these arrangements and provide as much notice as possible (at least one month or on their first day of work if they have been employed for less than a month prior to Christmas)
  • Subject to operational requirements and the relevant industrial instrument, agencies should direct employees with excessive leave balances onto leave during the closedown period.

Public Holidays

The Christmas and New Year public holidays for NSW are published by NSW Industrial Relations and available on their website here.

Public Service Departments

The following provisions apply to public service Departments only.

Concessional Leave:

Subject to industrial instruments, departmental operational and staffing requirements, concessional leave will be available to eligible public service employees for the afternoon of 24 December 2013.

To be eligible for the leave, employees must be on duty that morning and must work half the standard full time daily hours for the employee's category of employment. Eligible employees who are directed to remain on duty for the full day on 24 December are entitled to a half-day's concessional leave on 31 December 2013.

Provisions for granting and taking of concessional leave are set out in the Personnel Handbook under Chapter 6-5 Concessional Leave.

Public Service Holiday:

In addition to the public holidays observed in NSW, public service employees who are not entitled to a union picnic day or some other special day (such as the Tuesday after Easter or local holidays) are entitled to a public service holiday. This holiday is to be taken during the period between Boxing Day and New Year's Day and is subject to provisions in enterprise arrangements. Department Heads, in accordance with clause 19.1.3 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 (the award) are to determine which day will be observed as the public service holiday in their Department.

Employees directed to work on the day determined by their Department as the public service holiday are entitled to be absent from duty on one of the other working days between Boxing Day and New Year's Day without loss of pay.

Unless otherwise provided for in enterprise arrangements:

  • Employees directed to work on all of the working days between Boxing Day and New Year's Day are entitled to be paid overtime at the "public holiday" rate for work performed on the day determined as the public service holiday for their agency.
  • Shift workers (as defined in the Award) are to receive the public holiday provisions set out in Clause 87 of the Award for the day observed as the public service holiday in their agency.
  • Part time employees are entitled to be absent on the public service holiday and receive ordinary pay if they would normally have worked on that day. Those who do not normally work on that day are not entitled to compensation.

Barry O'Farrell MP

Issue: Public Sector Industrial Relations, NSW Industrial Relations, NSW Treasury
Contact: Public Sector Industrial Relations
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: (02) 9020 4644
Date: 2 October 2013


Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)
Separate agencies
State Owned Corporations
Statutory Authorities/Bodies
Subsidiaries of the NSW Government established under the Corporations Act



AR Details

Date Issued
Oct 3, 2013
Review Date
Oct 3, 2023
Replaced By


Publishing Entity
The Treasury
Issuing Entity
The Treasury