Fair Work Changes to Support Employees and Employers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 19, 2020

The Fair Work Commission has advised of the following changes to workplace laws to support employees and employers during the coronavirus pandemic.

JobKeeper Scheme

The Fair Work Act has been amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme (JobKeeper scheme) in Australian workplaces. These changes are temporary and will end on 28 September 2020.
The JobKeeper scheme helps employers significantly affected by coronavirus 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.

Find out details about the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, including how it affects and interacts with Payand Leave entitlements.

Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes to awards

The Fair Work Commission has added a temporary new schedule into 99 awards to provide greater flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary schedule gives employees:

  • 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave
  • the ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agrees.

The schedule applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020. Find out more at Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes to awards.

The Fair Work Commission has also made other temporary changes to some awards to provide more flexibility during the coronavirus outbreak – see Temporary changes to workplace laws during coronavirus.

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