Turn three days of leave into a 10 day holiday
AN INDUSTRIAL relations expert is warning employers to be prepared for extra people to chuck sickies this year thanks to the number of public holidays that fall close together.
Thanks in part to Easter falling in mid-April this year, workers around the state may be able to schedule maximum time off with minimum annual leave used.
The first of 2019's long weekends is coming up with the Australia Day public holiday scheduled for January 28 this year, but the best time to save on leave is between Easter and Anzac Day.
Since Good Friday is on April 19 this year, there are only four business days between Easter and the Anzac Day public holiday, meaning a potential 10 day break with only three days of annual leave having to be used.
Alternatively, use five days of annual leave for a 12 day break in April or use eight days of annual leave and combine it with the Labour Day public holiday on May 6 to turn it into an 18 day holiday.
For those who would prefer a longer break in May, plan to take four leave days from May 7 to turn it into a nine-day holiday.
Combining April and May could result in only using 11 days of leave to possibly go on a 24 day adventure.
Bradley Bowden, a professor of employment relations at Griffith University, said some employers may end up in a difficult position thanks to some of the public holidays.
"From an employer's point of view, they're in a bit of a difficult position to have something like this," he said.
"If the person clearly has their mind set on taking annual leave and they're denied, then what's the alternative?
"You have a fair idea they're going to call in sick.
"It's probably better to approve the annual leave rather than having them ringing in sick at the last moment, which makes it even harder to replace someone."
Those who want to wait until the second half of the year can still take advantage of shorter breaks, thanks in part to local show days - such as the Brisbane Royal Exhibition - in August or the Queen's birthday public holiday in October.
If in Brisbane, put in for annual leave on August 15 and 16 to turn the Ekka show holiday into a five-day break with only two days of time off used.
Plan the same again around the Queen's birthday long weekend on October 7.
December offers the double whammy of Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so for those so inclined, a possible extended holiday idea with minimum annual leave used could potentially include taking December 27, 30 and 31 off work for a week's break.
Alternatively, add on two more annual leave days for January 2 and 3 to make a longer summer holiday.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross advises planning an additional day of annual leave in an effort to avoid holiday traffic.
"If you're able to swing an extra day off leading into a set of public holidays you're likely to avoid the traffic headaches everyone else will have to contend with," she said.
"For example a day off on the twenty-fifth of January means you could pack the car up early Friday morning to avoid those all too familiar congestion headaches on the M1 and enjoy the extra beach a day ahead of everyone else."
Daniel Gschwind, chief executive officer for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, said he hopes Queenslanders will use the holidays to explore their own area of Queensland.
"The public holidays falling in a beneficial pattern is a good thing as people will consider what they could do," he said.
"There's no time like the present. We can dream of perhaps more exotic places but we should see what's right under our eyes and make the most of it without having to travel long distances or going through the rigmarole of things border control or anything like that.
"Get out there and step out there into your own backyard."
2019 Queensland Public Holidays
Jan 28: Australia Day holiday
April 19: Good Friday
April 22: Easter Monday
April 25: Anzac Day
May 6: Labour Day
August 14: Ekka show holiday, Brisbane
October 7: Queen's Birthday
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Boxing Day
Jan 1, 2020: New Year's Day