Current statistics show overworked staff cost businesses around $30 billion a year. Are your employees due for a holiday?

Hands up if you take work calls after hours. What about staying back long after it’s time to shut up shop? Skipping scheduled lunch breaks? Foregoing holidays?

If your arm is still up, chances are you’re one of the estimated 75% of Aussie workers who routinely skip breaks and leave entitlements on top of pulling extra hours to get their jobs done.

In a 23-country study, Australia ranked amoung the worst for occupational stress and work-life balance, with physical and psychological stress from overworked employees costing businesses around $30 billion a year, outstripping all other forms of injury and illness.

In a 23-country study, Australia ranked amoung the worst for occupational stress and work-life balance

So how can you avoid burnout? The Hair and Beauty Australia (HABA) Industry Association recommends ensuring both you and your staff are aware of your entitlements when it comes to leave, and that leave without pay is considered when all annual paid leave has been exhausted.

Few employees are aware of the policies around this form of leave, though, so let’s take a second to review just what entitlements staff can expect when it comes to leave without pay, according to HABA:

Accrual of Paid Leave and Continuity of Service:

During a period of leave without pay, an employee will not accrue paid annual leave or personal/carer’s leave. For redundancy or termination purposes, the time does not count as service however does not break continuity of service with the employer.

Public Holidays:

Should an employee be absent on leave without pay, then they would not be paid for a public holiday if the public holidays fell within the leave period. However, if the employee was due to return to work on a public holiday, they’d be paid for the public holiday.


Any requests and approval of authorised unpaid leave should be documented in writing.

For more information regarding your obligations as an employer, head to

Have your say: When’s the last time you took a holiday?


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