Can you work for another employer while on leave?

Q&A

Can you work for another employer while on leave?

Can an employee work for another employer while on annual leave over the Christmas break? Paul Munro explains.

Can an employee work for another company while on annual leave?

This question was recently sent to our Ask an Expert service.
 
Q One of our employees wants to take four weeks’ annual leave over the Christmas break. It has come to our attention that he plans to work for another employer during this time, albeit not an employer that operates in the same industry.

It is our view the employee should be taking paid leave to enjoy a break from work. Can we direct the employee to cease work for another employer during a period of paid annual leave?

The employee is employed in Victoria.
 
A The conditions relating to annual leave are regulated by the Fair Work Act (FWAct).
 
Annual leave – National Employment Standard (NES)
 
In the absence of a specific provision in the FWAct on this issue, an employee is able to work for another employer while on a period of annual leave, provided the work performed with the second employer does not conflict in any way with the business interests of the first employer.

The NES does not imply any control by the first employer over the activities of an employee while on annual leave.
 

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