Get out your diary: Here's how to get 55 days off work in 2020 with just 20 days annual leave.

There’s no denying that figuring out how to maximise the amount of holiday time you can get with your 20 days annual leave is an art form.

It takes calendar and public holiday know-how and a well-timed annual leave request to nab the optimum dates for the new year (before Paula in HR).

In Australia, full-time employees are legally entitled to 20 days of annual leave, however, with a little clever manoeuvring, you could see that figure double to 55 days of holiday.

Yes, really.

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Public holidays do differ depending on state and territory, but according to Finder, Aussies living in Western Australia, the ACT and Victoria are best placed to increase their time off without hindering their annual leave balance, with those living in NSW and Queensland getting the least.

Despite this, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to maximise your time off, no matter where you live – it all involves craftily scheduling your annual leave around public holidays that fall next to weekends.

Just make sure to mark these dates in your diary, stat.

Australia Day long weekend

Public holiday: Monday, January 27.

States and territories exempt: None.

Beat the January blues with a cheeky extended long weekend, by taking either the Friday or Tuesday off. Take advantage of the summer weather with a seaside retreat and spend your days laying on a beach towel, or sitting pool-side with a cocktail. How luxe.


Annual leave taken: One day.

Easter long weekend

Public holiday: Friday, April 10 to Monday, April 13 (four days).

States and territories exempt: None.

Treat yourself to a 10-day holiday from Saturday, April 4, to Monday, April 13, with just four days of annual leave. If you fancy an overseas escape, you can add another six days of vacay by taking four days of annual leave from Tuesday, April 14 to Friday, April 17.

That’s a 16-day break for eight days of annual leave… just think of all the places you could go.

Queen’s Birthday

Public holiday: Monday, June 8.

States and territories exempt: Queensland and Western Australia.

Another long weekend to add to the calendar. If you have the annual leave to spare, consider taking Friday, June 5 off, for an extended four-day break. The winter weather makes it the perfect time of year for a ski trip, or a cosy city break. Just add a big ol’ mug of mulled wine.

Labour Day long weekend

Public holiday: Monday, March 2 (WA), Monday, March 9 (VIC and TAS – Eight Hours Day), Monday, May 4 (NT – May Day), Monday, October 5 (ACT, NSW, and SA).

States and territories exempt: None, but the actual date of Labour Day changes.

While all states and territories celebrate Labour Day in one form or another – it’s called Eight Hours Day in Tasmania and May Day in the Northern Territory – the actual public holiday date varies. The good news is that it always falls on a Monday, which means everyone can take full advantage of an extra-long weekend.


Public holiday: Friday, December 25 (Christmas Day), Monday, December 28 (Boxing Day), and Friday, January 1, 2021 (New Year’s Day).

States and territories exempt: None.

By utilising the weekends and the Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s public holidays, you can treat yourself to a 16-day holiday, from Saturday, December 19 to Friday, January 1. Some companies and businesses request their employees take leave during this period, so you might as well capitalise on some extra time off. From a White Christmas, to a festive, tropical getaway, the options are endless.

Are you planning on taking advantage of the public holidays in 2020? Where would you go? Tell us in a comment below.

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