Under certain circumstances, employees may wish to “cash out” annual leave. In these scenarios, the law is very clear that employees are required to be paid the full amount that they would otherwise have been paid.
When “cashing out” annual leave, you are required to pay super contributions as normal.
It's really easy to cash out annual leave and ensure you’re meeting your obligations. To cash out annual leave for an employee follow these simple steps:
- You will need to create a Pay Category and call it "Leave Cash Out". Set the "Units" field to Fixed. This way when you include the pay category (Leave Cash Out), in the pay run, it will not adjust the normal hours that were worked by the employee who is "cashing out".
Also, "cashing out" generally does not accrue leave so by setting the "Units" to Fixed does not allow this pay category to accrue leave. See image below;
- Once the pay category is set up, go to the (regularly scheduled) pay run and find the employee that wants to cash out their leave - click on their name to expand the pay run record.
- First apply the leave to the employee’s leave balance, (i.e. deduct the hours cashed out). To do this, click the “Actions –> Adjust Leave”.
- This will create a "Leave Adjustment" line. You will then need to fill out the relevant fields, (see image below). You will need to select "Annual Leave" as the leave category, and in the "Hours" field your will need to put in a minus figure to correspond to the amount of hours being "Cashed Out", (see in the image below we are cashing out 20 hours) and make sure you untick the Apply Earnings Rules box, (if you DO NOT need to pay leave loading), where indicated. Then save.
Note: Paying leave in advance this way will not automatically add the leave loading (if applicable), you'll need to do this manually. To include leave loading you will first need to create a new pay category (call it 'Leave Loading' and make it a Fixed unit of payment). Then, in the pay run click the 'Actions' -> 'Add Earnings' button, select the 'Leave Loading' category and enter the details as required.
Once the Leave Adjustment has been created we now need to insert an earnings line to pay the employee. Using the "Actions" button again, select "Add Lump Sum", (see image below).
NB. you'll be using the lump sum payment method to pay this leave in order to aggregate the tax across multiple pay period but this feature does not work if there aren't any other "ordinary" earnings in the pay run (see note at the bottom of this article for more detail on this).
This will create an earnings line that you will need to fill in according to the amount of leave that is being "cashed out". Firstly, you will see that an "Other Earnings" line has been created. You will then need to select the "Leave Cash Out" pay category, the one we created in step 1.
Then, insert the number of pay periods you want this payment to be spread over (as leave accrues across the year you can spread the PAYG tax across the year - enter the number of pay periods that occur in one year for this employee). This will adjust the PAYG accordingly.
Enter the the corresponding hours that you entered in as a minus in the "Leave Adjustment" row. Then press save.
If there aren't any other ordinary earnings to be paid in the pay run you might as well use Take Leave and pay the leave out (in advance/cash out) as you would any other leave - then you'll need to manually work out the amount of tax that should be paid and use the Adjust PAYG option from the Actions button to adjust the amount of PAYG to be deducted (enter a negative adjustment to reduce the automatically calculated amount).
More information on Cashing out Annual Leave can be found here
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