The Helpline: What to do about closedowns

Q: Our business tends to have a quiet patch right after the public holidays. How do I give staff notice of a closedown?

A: Some hospitality businesses, particularly in the main urban areas, are busy leading up to the public holidays and then quiet down for a few weeks while people head off to the beach. This can be an excellent time to close the business and take a break yourself.

A business can have one customary closedown per year, although you can still close at another time with the agreement of your employees. You can require employees to take some or all of their annual holidays during a closedown. If they haven’t got annual leave accrued they would take unpaid leave, or you might offer them leave in advance. You could also close different parts of the business at different times.

You must give employees at least 14 days’ notice of a closedown. This doesn’t have to be in writing, but we recommend you send a brief letter to make everything clear.

The Restaurant Association can help you to navigate closedown periods and other issues that pop up over the holiday season. Give us a call on 0800 737 847 for more information.