WA Leave Entitlement - Can Employer It Take Away?

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Hi Patrick,

Is your employer wanting to completely delete your entitlement to your accumulated leave? Or do they want to pay you for it (cash it out) instead of allowing you the time off work?

If you are an employee that is covered by an award or agreement, cashing out of annual leave is allowed if the award or agreement allows it. However if you are not under an award or agreement you can agree to cash out annual leave.

However, in all cases:
  • you as an employee must retain an entitlement to at least four weeks paid annual leave per year
  • there must be a separate agreement in writing on each occasion
  • the employee must be paid at least the full amount that would have been payable had the employee taken the leave the employee has cashed out.
Your employer cannot force you to make an agreement to cash out annual leave.

If you need more info or want to talk to someone about it contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Patrick Adlam

10 November 2014
I work in the maritime industry and we accumulate leave over time. When we have enough leave to take a trip off.....70 odd days, we do , but the ship had to go to drydock and through no fault of our own.....the employer took all our built up leave back off us while we were waiting for the ship to come back and although we were paid the whole time, we are now in the red with leave to the tune of 30 odd days.
This was done with no agreement or consoltation. Pat
I,m permanent, Can my employer takeaway my accumulated leave ?


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
To make sure I understand, you have had 100 days off work and you were being paid.

Sounds a lot like paid leave. However you need to find out what award or enterprise agreement you are covered by and look at the provisions in the award/agreement. I imagine the maritime industry has some non-standard/unusual terms because of the nature of the work eg weeks/months onboard ship with no time off.

Also ask your experienced work colleagues if this is usual when ships are dry docked.