How Much Time Off Do You Get This Christmas?

White-collar workers across the nation are already deep into the week-before-Christmas-slump, with productivity diving and extended last minute shopping trips galore. But for the self-employed and small business owners, that isn't always an option.

Picture by Sarah Ackerman

A survey of 321 small business owners conducted for Telstra found that 55 per cent plan to work between Christmas and New Year, and 36 per cent won't take any time off at all. Some won't work full hours, of course, but the temptation to just grab the laptop and sneak off for a couple of hours can be strong even if your main premises are closed.

Here at Lifehacker, I'm not actually taking any time off other than the public holidays — but that still gives me a four-day break, a three-day week and a four-day week, which is a pleasant way to round out the year. I'm also welcoming the opportunity to do some planning and organising stuff that's harder when tech news is breaking constantly.

But I'm wondering: how much time off have other people planned? Tell us in the comments.


    I'm just having the public holidays off work.

      Just the two public holidays... And I dont get paid for those

        Unless you're casual or part time that doesn't normally work those weekdays you should be paid for public holidays.

      Finish on the 23rd and return on the 3rd of January, so around a week.

    I almost always take an extended break off during Christmas, usually for travel, but even when I'm not.. it's nice to have the time off to relax.. that's what annual leave is for ;)

    I'm being forced to take leave over Christmas. I'd prefer not to that's for sure, as I don't have any reason TO take this time off, and it just eats up my annual leave days when I could be using them for a holiday.


      Our office is shut down from basically Friday until Jan 3, with work resuming on Jan 4. This is four days of forced Annual Leave.

      And considering my personal holiday is the first few weeks of January (from the 3rd) it's 3 days less of Annual Leave I'll have to use next year.

      Oh well. At least there's some good parties happening next week.


        I would much rather take leave when I have a reason to, but my office closes between the 23rd and 3rd. It will be nice to have the time off - it's just nicer if you get to choose to do it.

          Why not just tell payroll you want Leave With Out Pay (LWOP) it doesn't take anything off your annual leave.

    We are given just under two weeks off (excluding public holidays obviously) but fortunately it's counted as a Christmas bonus so doesn't come off our annual leave...

    the joys of working in the education system...
    working half a day on friday, then I am on leave till about the 20th.
    using 13 RDOs (that I saved throughout the year), and 4 rec days... (the others are the public holidays +weekends

      But yet we see so many strikes because of unfair working conditions for teachers...

        What's this got to do with anything? The RDO is time they've already worked, however instead of getting paid, they're allowed to take it off at another time.

          Beating up on teachers (even though they have earned those RDOS) is a national sport it seems. And one based on having no idea about teachers actual working conditions.

            What the hell do we need teachers for?
            I've already finished school, so as far as I can see they are now redundant. Sack the lot of them!


    I get Christmas Day off, that's it.

    I was planning on working through and saving my days off for later when I actually want to use them but I was informed yesterday that the office will be closing until after the New Years public holidays. I guess I'll have to find something to do.

      you could celebrate christmas?

    I get the 26th (Monday) and 27th (Tuesday) and then 2nd (following Monday) off. I am taking my proper holidays in February. :)

    shouldn't the headline read "how many days are you forced to take out of your annual leave because your company has decided to close down over the holidays and, being only concerned about employees with children on school holidays, think they are doing you a favour?"

    Our company shuts down all of next week, all staff are given the time off with no impact to leave balances.

    My work is shutting down after today and opening up again on the 9th. So I get 2 and a half weeks off.

    My company closes its office between Christmas and New Year. Two of those days are holidays, one is a kind of Christmas bonus day. Which leaves two days "forced annual leave" as others have been describing it.

    Paid leave from 19/12 - 3/01 that doesn't impact upon my annual leave or in-lieu hours...... SCORE!

    I'm in the interesting spot on finishing up with my current employer and starting my new employment (business owner) in the new year. I'm lucky and I'm able to finish on the Friday 23rd, and start work on Monday the 9th.

    I'll be lucky to get the public holidays off. Casual bricklayers laboring for a self-employed bricklayer means public holidays mean nothing.

    Hah work is winding down....

    Everything has the target of before Christmas.

    After they ask you if it's possible to get it by then just ask them if your get a Christmas present.

    Works often enough.

    The 16th of December to the 16th of January. If I wasn't part of the IT team, it'd be from the 16th of December to the 27th of January

    My biggest fear is that I'll wake up on the last day of holidays and say "Oh shit, I haven't accomplished a thing" and be really disappointed.

    I'm a contractor, so depends if I want money or not.

    This is the first year running my own business and so I have realised I am my own worst boss! Working straight through with a day or two off when there are things on with family/friends.

      I second that. Same usually goes for weekends too - when I've got a spare moment I just end up working anyway. Work-life balance - your work becomes your life but the work is not perceived as work anymore...

    My government department has an agreement with us (the staff) that we work 5 minutes longer each day, the rest of the year in order to take the whole week off. It actually saves public money because the cost of running the a/c in the building for a much-shortened week is saved. Apparently just starting building systems after a weekend has a high cost.

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