There has been an important change to the Legal Services Award related to the taking of Annual Leave. Quoting from the Law Council of Australia’s Precis publication:

“From 2 September 2013 the Legal Services Award 2010 includes a clause that allows employers to direct an employee to take annual leave as part of a close-down of its operations, or part of its operations, where the request is reasonable, or, when an employee has more than eight weeks’ annual leave is accrued. In all situations the employer must provide at least four weeks’ notice to the employee.

“The amended annual leave clause means that law firms may direct staff to take leave over a shut down period such as Christmas/New Year, or when a staff member has eight or more weeks of annual leave accrued.

“The Commission rejected an application that requested a variation to awards to permit the cashing out of annual leave”.

The Law Council has also published a useful summary of minimum pay rates based on common weekly hours worked. The Legal Services Award applies to most support staff and graduate lawyers working in the legal profession.