Careers

How 19 strategic annual leave days can turn into 44 days off this year

We've crunched the numbers and here's exactly how you get a nine-day mini-break around Australia Day...

Everybody is entitled to a few days off during the year but, with a little planning, you can make the most of this year's public holidays and get multiple mini-breaks throughout 2018.

This year the calendar shows that we Aussies have roughly nine national public holidays (we say "roughly" because some states opt out of certain days off in lieu of others, like in South Australia where they don't officially mark Boxing Day but instead Christmas Eve) and that means if you know what days to take off work you could be rewarded with a few bonus days in a row.

While we've already had New Year's Day there's still the rest of the year to plan for so here's our handy national public holiday guide for those who generally work 9-5 (note: some of the days may vary from state to state):

Australia Day, January 26:

Swap four days annual leave for a nine-day break because this year Australia Day falls on a Friday. That means if you roster off the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday prior (22nd, 23rd, 24th & 25th of Jan.) you have a whole working week off smack bang between two weekends (20th - 28th Jan.)

Us on our 'Straya Day mini-break.
Us on our 'Straya Day mini-break.

Easter in April:

April gives us three days of public celebration and you can cash in four days of leave around that period to get 10-days of leisure.

Easter public holidays for all states fall on Friday, 30 March (Good Friday), Saturday, 31 March (Easter Saturday), Monday, 2 April (Easter Monday) so if you were to mark the following Tuesday - Friday (3rd - 6th April), and included the weekends around those dates, you could have from the 31st of March until the 8th of April away from your desk.

ANZAC Day, April 25th:

If you can't swing the time off at Easter you can hold out until later in the month and take a nine-day break using just four leave days.

ANZAC Day this year falls on a Wednesday (25th April) so if you were to take the Monday and Tuesday prior (23rd & 24th April) and the following Thursday and Friday (26th & 27th April) you'll potentially get the 21st until the 29th of that month work-free.

Queen's Birthday, June 11th:

While it's not her actual birthday the Queen's birthday is celebrated by our Commonwealth nation (except WA and QLD) on June 11th; Her Majesty will officially turn 92 this year on the 21st April.

So, considering that our head of state's public holiday falls on a Monday the days to assign as annual leave would be Tuesday, 12 June,Wednesday, 13 June, Thursday, 14 June and Friday, 15 June. With weekends included that brings you a mini-break from the 9th-17th of June; plenty of time to go to the UK and wish the Queen a happy birthday yourself if you like.

Christmas and the New Year, December 2018:

Just seven days of annual leave could turn into a 16-day holiday for you at the end of the year if you get organised now.

The public holidays in December and early January include the Tuesday of Christmas Day (Dec. 25), the Wednesday of Boxing Day (Dec. 26), and the Tuesday of New Year's Day (Jan. 1).

The days you want off are Monday, 24 December, Thursday, 27 December, Friday, 28 December, Monday, 31 December, Wednesday, 2 January, Thursday, 3 January and Friday, 4 January. In return you get the 21st of December - 6th January to properly recover from all your festive rosé drinking.

So, what the bloody hell are you waiting for? Go on and tell the man what days you won't be in before you end up working more than you have to this year.

PS: Every state has their own extra public holidays so it's also worth checking the calendar to see how you can scam more time off ;)