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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted October 6, 2020

With the year we’ve had and the holiday season coming up, leave has become a little more complicated in 2020 – surprise, surprise. We know many salon owners struggle at this time of year to get their leave right and ensure that they stay in front and compliant with all the rules and regulations under the Hair and Beauty Award 2010.


These are the top 5 questions the team at HABA are getting around leave as we head into the busiest period in salon. An employee must request to take annual leave in advance and in writing, and an employer can only refuse an employee’s request for annual leave if the refusal is reasonable.


1. Do I pay leave loading or weekend pay if my employee takes a Saturday off as annual leave?


Employees must be paid at their base rate of pay during any period of annual leave. During annual leave the employee is to receive whichever is the greater but not both, either leave loading of 17.5% for hours taken or the relevant penalty rates they would have received if they worked – which includes Saturday penalty rates. If a public holiday falls within the period of annual leave taken by a staff member, they get paid that day as a public holiday, at the same base rate of pay and the public holiday does not get deducted from their annual leave balance.



2. How do I develop policy around applying for leave and requesting in advance time off?

The key is to communicate your team early about what you expect of them and what the operating situation will be on the day. We encourage you to speak to your team as soon as possible about the public holiday to ensure that there is no confusion or misunderstanding. The other thing to have in place is a strong Policies and Procedures manual, which outlines your expectations with your team from the very beginning of their employment and ensures there’s no confusion in what is expected of them. As a HABA member, you can download this Salon Policies and Procedures Manual template HERE.


For salon owners, it’s important to have the conversation with your team early about what you do and do not determine to be acceptable during the Christmas period. If you are only accepting already-booked annual leave applications, it’s important that you tell your staff this. HABA Members can access our FREE template for Annual Leave application forms to ensure that you are covered this silly season.



3. What do I need to do for staff taking personal leave and elective surgery leave?

Salon owners must pay out ‘Personal Leave’ accrual for attending consultations and pre-surgery appointments – but not into; AFTER the procedure. Staff should still make a formal request for leave to attend these appointments, including using an Annual Leave application form. The only control that an employer may have in this situation is to request the employee provides a medical certificate from their doctor or surgeon that includes how many days of recovery they recommend and when the employee is fit to return to work. If you have received a medical certificate, you are out on a limb to challenge medical advice that it was not a personal illness or injury.


After the elective surgery, it is likely the employee will be recovering and therefore, entitled to use their ‘Personal Leave’. This is an entitlement for all staff protected by the National Employment Scheme (NES) and unlike Annual Leave, it cannot be refused by the employer if the conditions of section 97 of the Fair Work Act 2009 are met.


4. What do I need to do to prepare for Christmas regarding leave? 

Christmas is often one of the busiest periods in salon and so below is our top checklist of the things you need to do to make it through this period:

  • Decide on your shut down and reopening dates
  • Inform staff and clients of your shut down dates. As a HABA member, you can download a templatefor this Christmas Closure notice here, completely free.
  • Book your teams annual leave as soon as possible to plan remaining shifts. Remember that not all staff can take this period off, so consider who has taken it off previously and who went on leave when during the year to balance out the roster. it’s important to note that all permanent staff MUST be given at least 4 weeks’ notice to take annual leave during a shutdown period


  • The week before Christmas double check with each staff member that they know which days they need to be in the salon to make sure that your Christmas period is as stress-free as possible this year.
  • If you have security for your salon, it’s a good idea to let the company know that you will be having a shutdown period, just in case.


5. What do I do if I am closing for an extended period in January?

Many salon owners take a break in January while business is slow, and after 2020 we are seeing that many salon owners want to take January as a time to escape their business a bit. The Hair and Beauty Industry Award states that employers can direct their employees to take their annual leave by giving at least four weeks’ notice as part of a close-down of its operations – for example, in January. Have a conversation with your staff EARLY about a shut down period and make strong plans for your return date, even if that’s after the Australia Day Long Weekend. Make sure your roster is in place for the return to work period well in advance and check in with all staff about 1 week before opening that they are aware of their shifts. It’s about keeping the lines of communication open with your team as much as possible to ensure a smooth transition back to business.


The Christmas period is one we all enjoy, even if we are at our busiest. Make sure that you take the time to cover all the areas of leave to ensure a stress-free holiday break for you – you have absolutely earned it this year.


If HABA Members have any questions or concerns regarding leave for your staff, you are welcome to call HABA at any time, as many times as you need, on (02) 9221 9911 and our team of in-house Industrial Relations Experts can assist you with specific advice for your situation.




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