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Fair Work Ombudsman update

The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued advice on JobKeeper provisions and has added a temporary new schedule into 99 awards to provide greater flexibility during the pandemic. UNPAID PANDEMIC LEAVE - 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave;

  • Taken when employees are required to self-isolate due to exposure; or when an enforceable government direction restricts non-essential business

  • Is available in full, immediately to full, part time and casual employees

  • Employees do not need to accrue this leave

  • Employees do not have to use paid leave before accessing unpaid pandemic leave

  • Pandemic Leave must start before 30th June 2020, but can finish after this date

  • All eligible employees can take the 2 weeks unpaid pandemic leave – it is not pro-rated for employees who do not work full time

  • Does not affect other paid or unpaid leave entitlements

  • Counts as service for entitlements under awards and the National Employment Standards

  • JobKeeper subsidised employees can take unpaid pandemic leave under their award at the same time as receiving the JobKeeper payment. (an employee on this form of unpaid leave is still an eligible employee for JobKeeper payments. Therefore, they are paid as part of the JobKeeper subsidy program while on the Fair Work category of “unpaid pandemic leave”)

ANNUAL LEAVE CHANGES TO AWARDS While on full leave the employee may elect to receive half pay and reduce their Annual Leave entitlement at that same half rate.

  • Employee must keep a balance of at least 2 weeks paid annual leave accrued

  • Agreement must be in writing and the employer needs to keep it as a record

  • Annual Leave at half rate needs to start before 30th June 2020 – but can finish after that date

  • Employees on leave at half pay accumulates annual leave, sick and carer’s leave as if they were on leave at full pay

  • This employee would be an eligible employee for JobKeeper. Therefore the employee must be receiving at least $1,500 per fortnight and the employer includes them in their JobKeeper subsidy claim

The schedule applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 8th April 2020 until 30th June 2020. Find out more at Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes to awards. JOBKEEPER SCHEME The Fair Work Act has been amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme in Australian workplaces. These changes are temporary and will end on 28th September 2020. The JobKeeper scheme helps employers significantly affected by corona virus to keep paying their employees, by providing a subsidy administered by the Australian Tax Office. The changes also give eligible employers the ability to give certain directions to and make agreements with their eligible employees to help manage their business. Details are available about the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, including how it affects and interacts with Pay and Leave entitlements. SICK LEAVE DURING STAND DOWN The Federal Court has determined that employees stood down pursuant to s.524 and s.525 of the Fair Work Act 2009 are not able to take paid personal/carer’s leave (“sick leave”) or compassionate leave whilst stood down without pay. OTHER CHANGES The Fair Work Commission has also made other temporary changes to some awards to provide more flexibility during the corona virus outbreak – see Temporary changes to workplace laws during corona virus.We’ve made it quick and convenient for you to manage your blog from anywhere. In this blog post we’ll share the ways you can post to your Wix Blog.


#covid19 #jobkeeper #annualleave

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