Fair Work updates Awards to accommodate coronavirus
Australia’s Fair Work Commission has updated several Awards to include temporary new Schedules to provide flexibility during the coronavirus health pandemic.
Several awards are currently undergoing review to allow for more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Decisions have been issued for two awards, with further awards pending decisions.
The awards currently under consideration, and those that have already been varied, are:
- Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 – decision issued
- Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 – decision issued
- Restaurant Industry Award 2010 – pending
The new Schedules in the awards will allow for flexibility during the Coronavirus pandemic for:
- employees’ classifications and duties
- minimum engagement/pay for part-time and casual employees
- span of hours changes while working at home
- full-time and part-time employees’ hours of work
- directions to take annual leave.
The temporary changes accommodate the changed employment status of many Australians that has arisen following the increasing health pandemic, which has resulted in thousands of businesses throughout Australia having to change the way they trade and offer their goods and services.
Benefits for employers and employees
The addition of the new temporary schedule in the awards offers more flexibility for employers and employees to get them through the months ahead as businesses deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The updated awards allow for additional flexibility to cover a range of circumstances including where an employee may need to have their shift’s minimum hours reduced, requirements for an employee to work in lower duties, extending the standard hours people may work between at home to enable them to work with children at home, and additional options.
Coronavirus and Australian Workplace laws
The Fair Work Ombudsman has developed a a centralised resource of information and tools for employers and employees outlining the workplace entitlements and obligations for those impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19 including information about stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, and pay and sick leave entitlements.
Support for employers
The team at Masula Compliance can provide support and guidance for employers who may be unsure about their new working relationships with their employees.
Contact us to learn more about how the new Award updates may apply to your business.
Get in touch via email, or call 07 3348 3666 to discuss your particular situation.