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When an employee is stood down by their employer, the stand down period still counts as service, and the employee continues to accumulate leave.

What is service?

Service is the total amount of time that an employee has been employed by their employer, but it doesn’t include some unpaid periods. Service is used to determine employee entitlements. It’s counted in different ways for different entitlements.

In some cases, such as some transfers of business, an employee’s service with an old employer can count as service with the new employer.

When businesses change owners has more information on transfers of business.

What is continuous service?

Continuous service is an unbroken period of service.

Do periods of stand down count towards an employee’s continuous service?

Yes. Time away from work due to stand down counts as service and won’t break an employee’s period of continuous service.

This means that time stood down is included when calculating an employee’s entitlements under the National Employment Standards, such as notice, redundancy and leave.

See Stand downs for more information about how stand downs operate.

Accumulating leave during stand down

Both annual leave and sick leave continue to accumulate during a stand down.


Toto works full time at a brick factory.

The road to the brick factory where Toto works was closed due to flooding. The road was impassable for two weeks, so the brick factory was closed and no-one was able to work.

Toto was stood down and wasn’t paid by his employer until the road was open again because there was no useful work for him to do.

Toto still accumulated his full four weeks of annual leave that year.

More information

Stand down is different to unpaid leave, even though they can both be unpaid. It’s also different to shutdown periods. For information about the difference, see our Library article Difference between stand down, unpaid leave and shutdown.

For information about unpaid leave and continuous service, see our Library article Unpaid leave and continuous service.

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Page reference No: K600488