As the year draws to a close, many of us are likely thinking about taking annual leave over Christmas – and hoping for a festive season which isn’t entirely dictated by the pandemic.

By “many of us”, I mean ‘me’. I have been thinking about it.

Perhaps to take my mind off the whole ‘Living In 2020’ thing, I spent my morning sussing out how to maximise my AL allowance over Christmas and well into 2021.

Barring any changes to Victoria’s public holidays, it seems possible to use just 14 days of leave to accrue 39 days off the clock between now and January 2022. Even bigger breaks are on offer in other states, too.

Here’s my working. It assumes a Monday-to-Friday gig in Victoria, but you can, and should, suss out how this can work for you.

Enjoy.

Christmas, 2020

As Boxing Day falls on Saturday, December 26, an additional public holiday will technically fall on Monday, December 28. Ripper.

This means it’s possible to take ten days off between Christmas and January 2021 while only using three days of leave on December 29-31.

Observe:

  • Friday, December 25 (Christmas public holiday)
  • Saturday, December 26 (Weekend, Boxing Day public holiday)
  • Sunday, December 27 (Weekend)
  • Monday, December 28 (Boxing Day bonus public holiday)
  • Tuesday, December 29 (Annual leave)
  • Wednesday, December 30 (Annual leave)
  • Thursday, December 31 (Yep, leave)
  • Friday, January 1 (New Year’s Day public holiday)
  • Saturday, January 2 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, January 3 (Weekend)

January 26 Public Holiday, 2021

Australia’s national holiday still rests on January 26. In 2021, that falls on a Tuesday. In late January, it’s possible to turn four days of leave into nine days away:

  • Saturday, January 23 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, January 24 (Weekend)
  • Monday, January 25 (Annual leave)
  • Tuesday, January 26 (Public holiday)
  • Wednesday, January 27 (Annual leave)
  • Thursday, January 28 (Annual leave)
  • Friday, January 29 (Leave here, too)
  • Saturday, January 30 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, January 31 (Weekend)

Easter, 2021

If you tack an extra four days of leave onto Easter’s four-day block of public holidays, you could nab ten days away from work:

  • Friday, April 2 (Good Friday public holiday)
  • Saturday, April 3 (Saturday before Easter Sunday public holiday)
  • Sunday, April 4 (Easter Sunday public holiday
  • Monday, April 5 (Easter Monday public holiday)
  • Tuesday, April 6 (Annual leave)
  • Wednesday, April 7 (Annual leave)
  • Thursday, April 8 (Annual leave)
  • Friday, April 9 (More leave!)
  • Saturday, April 10 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, April 11 (Weekend)
How To Turn 18 Days Of Annual Leave Into 48 Days Of Work-Free Bliss Through 2021
Me, Mr Prime Minister, enjoying my bulk time off.

Christmas, 2021

Yes, Christmas, again. One notable difference: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day all fall on weekend days, meaning bonus public holidays afterwards. This time, you can notch three days of leave for a total of ten days away:

  • Saturday December 25 (Weekend, Christmas Day)
  • Sunday December 26 (Weekend, Boxing Day
  • Monday, December 27 (Christmas public holiday)
  • Tuesday, December 28 (Boxing Day public holiday)
  • Wednesday, December 29 (Annual leave)
  • Thursday, December 30 (Annual leave)
  • Friday, December 31 (Leave, laugh, love)
  • Saturday, January 1 (Weekend, New Year’s Day)
  • Sunday, January 2 (Weekend)
  • Monday, January 3 (New Year’s Day public holiday)

Bonus: Anzac Day, 2021

In 2021, Anzac Day will fall on Sunday, April 25.

Australian jurisdictions have differing rules on how to handle the occasion: for Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, the Anzac Day public holiday falls on Anzac Day, period. No bonus public holidays are on offer.

However, that will not be the case in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, the NT, and the ACT, all of which will recognise a public holiday on Monday, April 26.

If you live in one of those regions, you could try the following leave schedule, turning four days of leave into nine days on the lam. Added to the other leave periods listed above, that’s a stonking 48 days off for just 18 days of leave:

  • Saturday, April 24 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, April 25 (Weekend, Anzac Day)
  • Monday, April 26 (Anzac Day public holiday)
  • Tuesday, April 27 (Annual leave)
  • Wednesday, April 28 (Annual leave)
  • Thursday, April 29 (Annual leave)
  • Friday, April 30 (You leave to see it)
  • Saturday, May 1 (Weekend)
  • Sunday, May 2 (Weekend)

See you out there, champs.