What Happens to Construction Projects During the Christmas Holiday Period?

What Happens to Construction Projects During the Christmas Holiday Period?

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year when you get to visit your friends and families. It’s an occasion you celebrate with great joy and enthusiasm. Most people on earth celebrate Christmas because it is the only holiday with the strongest family traditions tied to it. The food, the decorations, the gifts, the activities, all of it defines the magic of Christmas.

Christmas is also “glorified” because people get to take a break –a well-deserved break –from their work. You get a great excuse to escape deadlines and busy schedules only to host Christmas parties and eat an entire pound of chocolates (You’re supposed to eat chocolate at Christmas, right?)

However, there are many who still have to work during Christmas. Police, firefighters, doctors, nurses and aides have always been working during the Christmas holidays. But, what about builders?

Construction contractors are responsible for the operation and oversight of a construction project. They have to plan all phases of a project and oversee the building project from inception through completion. However, are they allowed to take a Christmas break or should they be excluded from those who plan to do so?


 Legislation In some countries, key construction legislation treats the Christmas holiday as a complete shutdown period. For instance, in Queensland, the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 works in the favor of construction contractors and makes provisions for the Christmas shutdown period. This article defines “business days” for construction workers and these business days exclude the following:

  • a Saturday or Sunday; or
  • a public holiday, special holiday or bank holiday in the place in which any relevant act is to be or may be done; or
  • any day occurring within any of the following periods—
  1. 22 to 24 December;
  2. 27 to 31 December;
  3. 2 to 10 January.


ContractsSome construction contracts can consist of a construction timeline in which every step, task and milestone of the project is laid out. In general, this timeline is included so as to give a fair compensation to construction workers. However, sometimes it can even refer to the Christmas shutdown period.

Construction contracts often include a special clause that allows builders to request a reasonable break and this clause will sometimes allow builders to ask for an extension due to the delay in construction work. In some cases, the “reasonable break” often refers to the Christmas shutdown period.

What to Expect of the Christmas Shutdown Period?


Even if you are aware of the special clause or legislation that allows your builder to take a Christmas break, the contractor should still contact you to notify you of when the building site will be shut down.

In general, there is no legal requirement for any official notice, but this information should still be communicated to you via a face-to-face discussion, a phone call, a message or a quick email. You should expect to be informed at least 4-5 days before the shutdown for Christmas.

Make the Site Secure

Your builder is taking a break, fine. However, he should make sure that he’s leaving the construction site locked and as safe as possible.

During the Christmas holidays, building sites can be especially attractive to intruders as they can be filled with valuable assets like a high-tech equipment and lots of construction materials. So, if you want to prevent any break-ins, please ask your contractor to make the site completely impenetrable.

Here are some tips to secure the site:

  • Ensure there is a lockable fence or make sure the house is completely secured, with all the windows and doors locked up.
  • Store the materials in a very safe place or remove them completely from the site if your builder is going to be away for a very long time.




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