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.
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.
The Christmas and New Year public holidays for NSW are published by NSW Industrial Relations and available on their website here.
The following provisions apply to public service Departments only.
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.
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:
Barry O'Farrell MP
Issue: Public Sector Industrial Relations, NSW Industrial Relations, NSW Treasury
Contact: Public Sector Industrial Relations
Telephone: (02) 9020 4644
Date: 2 October 2013