Most of us will be glad to see the back of 2021, but before you we dive into 2022, it’s worth looking at how to boost your annual leave days for the coming year.
Here’s how to strategically use 15 days of annual leave, in combination with public holidays, to get longer breaks throughout 2022. All up, 36 days’ worth! Plus, we also show how to see out 2021 with time off, too.
Why it’s important to take annual leave
Most full-time workers in Australia are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave a year. When used wisely, this time off can reap huge rewards for you both personally and professionally. In fact, 35% of Aussies say that regularly taking time out to concentrate on themselves and the things they enjoy has a huge impact on their mental health.
Taking time off is especially important after the unique stresses of the last two years, says Joel Broughton Head of Talent Acquisition at BlueCross. “Taking annual leave allows you to switch off and recharge your batteries in order to come back to work refreshed and ready to meet challenges,” he says.
“Having some leave booked for the future generally means I’m looking forward to something positive and allows me to maintain a positive outlook. This is a particularly important strategy for maintaining good mental health.”
Get the most out of your annual leave by joining it with public holidays
“Combining annual leave with public holidays is a great way to maximise your leave,” Broughton says. “Although if you are planning to take annual leave around gazetted public holidays, book your leave early.”
While some public holidays may differ slightly between Australian states, the major holidays (Australia Day, Easter, Anzac Day and Christmas) all offer an opportunity to boost your days off.
You can get a 10-day break (December 25 – January 3) by taking just three days off from December 29–31.
- Saturday December 25: Christmas Day (weekend)
- Sunday December 26: Boxing Day (weekend)
- Monday December 27: Christmas Day public holiday
- Tuesday December 28: Boxing Day public holiday
- Wednesday December 29: Annual leave
- Thursday December 30: Annual leave
- Friday December 31: Annual leave
- Saturday January 1: New Year’s Day (weekend)
- Sunday January 2: Weekend
- Monday January 3: New Year’s Day public holiday
Get an extra-long weekend for Australia Day by taking off the four days from January 24–28. This means you’ll get a 9-day break, starting from January 22.
- Saturday January 22: Weekend
- Sunday January 23: Weekend
- Monday January 24: Annual leave
- Tuesday January 25: Annual leave
- Wednesday January 26: Australia Day public holiday
- Thursday January 27: Annual leave
- Friday January 28: Annual leave
- Saturday January 29: Weekend
- Sunday January 30: Weekend
If you’re keen for a 17-day holiday from April 15–May 1, you can take eight days of annual leave from April 19–29.
- Friday April 15: Good Friday public holiday
- Saturday April 16: Weekend
- Sunday April 17: Easter Sunday (weekend)
- Monday April 18: Easter Sunday public holiday
- Tuesday April 19: Annual leave (Tasmanians get this as a public holiday)
- Wednesday April 20: Annual leave
- Thursday April 21: Annual leave
- Friday April 22: Annual leave
- Saturday April 23: Weekend
- Sunday April 24: Weekend
- Monday April 25: ANZAC Day
- Tuesday April 26: Annual leave
- Wednesday April 27: Annual leave
- Thursday April 28: Annual leave
- Friday April 29: Annual leave
- Saturday April 30: Weekend
- Sunday May 1: Weekend
Alternatively, you could just take the four days off between April 19-22 and still get 11 days off (including the ANZAC day Monday).
Christmas and January 2023
If you want to get really organised for 2022, book in three days of annual leave from Dec 28–30, 2022. That means you’ll be in line for a 10-day break from Dec 24–January 2.
- Saturday December 24: Weekend
- Sunday December 25: Christmas day (weekend)
- Monday December 26: Boxing Day public holiday
- Tuesday December 27: Christmas Day public holiday
- Wednesday December 28: Annual leave
- Thursday December 29: Annual leave
- Friday December 30: Annual leave
- Saturday January 31, 2022: Weekend (New Year’s Day)
- Sunday January 1: Weekend
- Monday January 2: New Year’s Day public holiday
And this potentially still leaves 5 days of annual leave to use as you wish. You could use them together or spread them out over a few weekends to get a few bigger breaks during the year. If you’re in Victoria, for example, the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday Nov 1 could be a prime time to take a Monday off to make it an extra long weekend.
Annual leave gives you an opportunity to unplug from work and have a break long enough to return to work refreshed. It can also give you the time and space to think about new directions for your career or new ways of doing things.
By looking at all the public holidays coming up in the next year, you can build an annual leave plan that maximises your chance to recharge your batteries.
Source: Independent research conducted by Nature of behalf of SEEK, interviewing 4800 Australians annually. Published December 2020.