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Thursday, 8 November 2007

Eight Weeks Annual Leave - Fingers Crossed

In the last half of the Australian federal election campaign, and both sides continue with the carrot and stick approach. After this morning's interest rate hike both sides are trying to convince voters that they would be better at keeping interest rates down. The Liberals are having a hard time sounding convincing since they said that they'd keep rates low during the last election campaign, and rates have risen six times since then. The opposition Labour party is running a negative TV ad campaign about this, but is also trying to deny the Liberals claim that interest rates would go even higher if Labour was in office. Labour has trouble sounding convincing when denying this claim, as last time they were in power interest rates were in double digits, and because they can't say anything like "rates would be lower under Labour".

Meanwhile the Liberals announced another policy aimed at winning votes. This time they promised to allow workers to take four weeks annual leave (without pay) in addition to the standard four weeks annual leave with pay that we currently are entitled to in Australia. It's a typical Liberal party policy - it appears to give the workers a benefit, but at no cost to employers (well, they might have to hire a casual to cover extra workers on leave, but it shouldn't cost much since the workers aren't paid if they take the extra vacation time), and the employers have to agree such requests (although most employers would have to offer this option in order to keep good workers, now that unemployment is below 4%).

Hopefully this another policy that the Labour party will also adopt, as the Libs don't seem all that likely to retain in power at the moment.

If this does become law, I'd love to take an extra four weeks leave each year. It would only reduce my total salary by around 8% pa (which I can afford), and, combined with my long service leave that vests next year, would mean that I could work only four days a week all year, still have a couple of weeks annual leave over Christmas/New Year each year, and still earn over 90% of my current wage.

Hopefully it comes into force immediately (if at all), since I'm thinking about changing careers to teaching in five or so years time. As teachers leave is all taken during the school holiday periods this change won't affect teachers at all.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007


1 comment:

S. B. said...

Interesting. I asked my last few employers (each at a time I felt that I had a little leverage) what they would think of having me take about 3 weeks off each year without pay. They all claimed it was "probably do-able", but when the formal request came, they said no in every case.

I think in the absence of any legal policy framework for such, most employers in the U.S. seem to balk at unpaid leave just to take more vacation time. The claim seems to be that if they let one person do it, they will have to let everyone to avoid litigation.