If an employer regularly closes down for a holiday period or seasonal break and requires employees to take annual holidays (or take unpaid time off) this is referred to as an ‘annual closedown' and it can occur:
- across an entire workplace, or
- for part of an organisation (eg where a factory closes for maintenance while the office, dispatch and sales departments stay open).
This often happens at Christmas time, but some seasonal industries have closedowns at the end of a particular season. An employer can close down different parts of the workplace at different times.
If a public holiday falls, or an employee wants to take sick leave, bereavement leave day or an alternative holiday, during a closedown period, the employer needs to decide whether the day is an otherwise working day for the employee (ie if the closedown was not in force). If it is an otherwise working day, then the employee will be entitled to the day as a public holiday, sick leave day, bereavement leave day or alternative holiday as appropriate.