FAIR WORK COMMISSION VARIES PAID ANNUAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS IN MODERN AWARDS, INSERTS A GENERAL RIGHT TO CASH OUT ANNUAL LEAVE BY AGREEMENT WITH EMPLOYER 

As part of its four-yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission recently made a decision to vary paid annual leave entitlements in 103 of the 122 modern awards. Several determinations have been issued to enact these changes, which took effect from 29 July 2016. The determinations have the effect of inserting into each relevant award a general right to cash out accrued annual leave, coupled with a number of conditions: 

• Employees must have at least four weeks' annual leave accrued after the cash-out;

• Employees are not entitled to cash out more than two weeks' annual leave in any 12-month period; and

• Each period of cashed-out annual leave requires a signed agreement with the employer.

The change brings the rights of award-covered employees into line with those of non-award employees. As a result, award-covered employees now have the same entitlement to cash out annual leave that is available to non-award employees under section 94 of theFair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("FWA").