Money or your time - The Weekend Australian

McDonald Murholme Managing Director Alan McDonald comments on the disadvantages of cashing out annual leave for employees.

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Money or your time

Employment law firm McDonald Murholme managing director Alan McDonald says the Fair Work Commission’s decision to allow Australians to cash out their annual leave by taking the money instead of time off will be a win for businesses looking to reduce annual leave.

He says the decision could lead to increased working weeks but could be detrimental to employees.

“There is a risk that employers may exploit this change by pushing employees to take the money, not the time,” McDonald says.

He says this is a concern for private sector employees such as truck drivers and disability workers who need time to recover from long hours of difficult and stressful work.

Yet the commission states employers can’t force or pressure an employee to choose the cash option, and a written agreement has to be made each time annual leave is cashed out.

McDonald says employees should be careful to avoid surrendering their four weeks of entitled leave, and ensure they take a break and continue to enjoy a high standard of living and positive work-life balance.

Reference: Money or your time’, The Weekend Australian, 10 September 2016