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Guide to Closing Your Office for the Holidays

As the holiday season draws near you may be thinking about temporarily closing your office. This break allows you and your employees to relax and enjoy some much-needed time off. However, to shut down for the holidays, you need to carefully plan in advance to ensure you start off your holiday seamlessly and hassle-free. 

To assist you in preparing for this temporary closure, we’ve created a guide on what you need to know about closing for the holidays. 

Public Holidays to Keep in Mind

The holiday season in Australia is at the end of the year, between late December and early January. One of the reasons why this period is the holiday season is that it coincides with several public holidays:

  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Boxing Day (26 December)
  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • Australia Day (26 January)

Holiday dates may differ slightly from year to year, so it's important to double-check the precise dates. Be sure to refer to your state's laws concerning public holidays and the legal obligations for your employees, such as penalty rates and provisions for temporary shutdowns.

If you decide to keep your office open during the holiday season, you will need to keep in mind the rules around public holiday pay. Read our guide to public holiday pay to learn more.

Legal Obligations and Employee Annual Leave

When closing your office temporarily you need to be aware of the rules regarding directing your employees to take annual leave. Most awards and enterprise bargaining agreements may contain specific requirements for directing annual leave during a closedown period. These requirements can vary, so it's important to check the award or agreement to ensure you stay compliant.

In general, to direct your employees to take annual leave for a close-down you need to be reasonable, direct them in writing and inform your employees within the required notice period for their award. 

If your employee's award or agreement does not include a provision for a close-down, then you are not allowed to direct an employee to take annual leave. However, you can ask your employees and they are allowed to agree to a request for them to take annual leave in that period. 

For more information review our guide on forced annual leave

Holiday Office Closure Email: Keep Everyone Informed

Before you close your office for the holidays you should send an email to your clients and partners to let them know. Whether you prefer a formal tone or a more relaxed and playful approach, it's important to ensure that your clients, and partners are aware of your absence and the appropriate contact information for urgent matters. 

Holiday Office Closure Email Template

Inform your clients and partners about your office's holiday closure using this template:

Hello there,

I wanted to inform you in advance that our office will be closed for the holidays and our team will be taking time to relax with friends and family. The office will be closed from [holiday start date] to [holiday end date]. 

During this time, there might be a delay in responding to your messages. In case you have an urgent request, feel free to reach out to [name of colleague] at [email] for assistance. If your message is not urgent, we will get back to you as soon as we are back in the office.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Kind Regards,

[Name]

If you need to send a card for the holidays, have a look at our holiday card templates for businesses.

Holiday Closedown Checklist

When you close your office there are a lot of things to do. To help you keep track of items you need to do use our holiday office closedown checklist. This checklist will help you avoid any last-minute stress and help you have a hassle-free closure:

How QuickBooks Can Help

Closing your office during the holiday season helps your team receive a well-deserved break during a slow period. Using our checklist can help keep the whole Christmas office closure procedure hassle-free.

While managing your holiday office closure requires careful planning and adherence to legal obligations, QuickBooks can be a valuable ally and help you ensure a smooth process. With QuickBooks accounting software, you can automate invoice payment reminders, recurring bills and payroll


Enjoy your well-deserved holiday break, and return to the office rejuvenated and ready to tackle the challenges of the new year with the knowledge that your accounting systems are running smoothly by signing up to QuickBooks Online today with a free 30-day trial.


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