13 January 2023

How to turn 20 days of leave into 58 days of holidays in the nation’s capital

| Dione David
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Girl with balloon

Canberra Day provides one of 13 public holidays in the nation’s capital. Photo: File.

As the nation’s cogs groan sluggishly back into motion following the festive season and a rough few years, you might already be looking forward to your next break.

And far be it from anyone to tell you how to use your leave. But while most full-time workers are entitled to 20 days of leave, taking them strategically around public holidays and weekends will yield 58 days in our fair territory.

That’s because not only was the ACT the first state or territory to recognise Reconciliation Day with a public holiday, it also celebrates Canberra’s founding with a public holiday on the second Monday in March.

As such, the ACT ties with Victoria in having the most public holidays in the nation – 13 in total.

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Like all Aussies, Canberrans already had Monday, 2 January, in lieu of New Year’s Day, which fell on a Sunday.

And we all know taking Friday, 27 January, off after the Australia Day holiday yields a four-day weekend.

Then in March, Canberrans automatically get a three-day weekend thanks to Canberra Day.

But the real good stuff comes in April, during most of which you can double the impact of your leave.

First up, the Easter public holidays, when taking eight leave days equals a 16-day holiday. Here you can request Monday to Thursday, 3 to 6 April, to take you to Good Friday and Tuesday, 11 April, off the back of Easter Monday, through to Friday, 14 April.

Then taking four leave days off straddling the Tuesday Anzac Day public holiday (Monday, 24 April, and Wednesday to Friday, 26 to 28 April) yields nine consecutive days off.

Smoking ceremony

Reconciliation Day doesn’t just make for a much-appreciated public holiday, it’s a great time to connect with the original Ngunnawal Country story. Photo: Events ACT.

Reconciliation Day and the Sovereign’s Birthday public holidays provide long weekends in May and June respectively.

You could opt to take a further four days off following either of these long weekends, again turning four leave days into nine consecutive days off. But if you wish to spread your leave out more, consider doing this following the Labour Day public holiday on Monday, 2 October.

And that takes us to the piece de resistance – Christmas and Boxing Day, which this year fall on a Monday and Tuesday, automatically scoring you a four-day weekend.

This means by cashing in just three days of leave (from Wednesday to Friday, 27 to 29 December), you’ve got yourself a 10-day holiday, finishing with 1 January, 2024.

That’s a total of 20 days of leave taken to return 58 days of holidays and long weekends this year. Beautiful.

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This is not some best-kept secret, though; the popular strategy means requesting your time off sooner rather than later is advisable.

Not only will it increase your chances of having your requests approved at work, you can also get stuck into planning and making any bookings, hopefully saving money on public holiday surge pricing.

Unsurprisingly, many studies have shown the positive impact of holidays on work productivity and their contribution to avoiding burnout.

Perhaps less well known is the fact that the length of your holiday, distance from your workplace and length of time between planning and departure can all play into the impact. Hint: it pays to plan well ahead and avoid the stress of the last-minute holiday scramble.

Long story short, getting your leave requests in now and planning your holidays well this year might benefit both you and your workplace.

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Absolutely sickening. Country is full of bludgers and parasites expecting handouts.

actually not that many when compared to other countries. Argentina (19), Austria (14), India (21), Japan (16), Liechtenstein (20-22 depending on the year) or Nepal (34) have more than us. We’re tied with Latvia, Spain and Finland with 13…..relax!

As the ACT government has created 2 additional holidays (Canberra Day and Reconciliation Day) compared to NSW, Commonwealth public servants living in Canberra are being subsidised by taxpayers in NSW for extra leisure time compared to Commonwealth public servants working in NSW. To balance the equity between Commonwealth public servants and taxpayers in NSW a simple solution would be to reduce the wages of Canberra-based Commonwealth public servants by just under 1% of their gross salaries to reflect that they work that percentage less hours than their counterparts in NSW.

Or just decentralise the APS and relocate all of them to the states. With all of them working from home these days no reason they all have to be in Canberra.

Capital Retro2:53 pm 15 Jan 23

Have you ever owned a SME and employed people, Dione?

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