ALERTS in relation to COVID-19
With our frequently changing environment, we will regularly update and alert Employers as information becomes available. Please note that some of the information may no longer be current given how quickly the situation is changing. To sign up, click here.
The Fair Work Commission has inserted temporary COVID-19 schedules into 3 Awards with variations to provide some flexibility for employers in response to the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses.
The temporary schedules are directed at variations providing flexibility in relation to the range of duties employees can be required to perform, the reduction of ordinary hours of work and directing employees to take annual leave.
Temporary schedules have been added to the:
- Clerks – Private Sector Award;
- the Restaurant Industry Award; and
- the Hospitality Industry (General) Award.
The Fair Work Commission has called for Submissions on variations to 103 other Awards and with Submissions closing on 8 April 2020. We will keep employers updated with consequential changes as soon as we know more.
The Federal Government has clarified some key issues relating to the proposed wage subsidy program (‘JobKeeper Payment’).
Employers should note that at the time of this Alert, the legislation governing this program is currently being finalised and will come before Federal parliament in the week of 6 April 2020. As a result of lack of finite detail, the information provided in this Alert is general in nature and based on the information which is currently available. We recommend that all Employers exercise caution in relation to making decisions around the JobKeeper Payment scheme until the applicable legislation is passed through Parliament.
In this Alert we look at the Jobkeeper wage subsidy the Federal Government has announced to support both employees, and the businesses that employ them, due to the impact of the Coronavirus crisis.
Please note that at the time of preparing this Alert, the legislation governing the Jobkeeper wage subsidy has not been passed through Parliament and therefore, the information provided is general in nature and taken from what is known at present.
It will be essential to consider the details of the wage subsidy and how it will apply once the legislation is passed. We will provide a further Alert at that time.
As the implications of COVID-19 for employers slowly become clearer in some respects (and less so in others), we thought it appropriate to confirm a couple of now generally accepted positions on common questions that some employers are asking in relation to:
- Paid leave entitlements will accrue for permanent employees during stand down;
- Access to annual leave, long service leave and paid personal / carer’s leave during a stand down; and
- Payment of public holidays while on stand down.
In this Alert we look at the latest announcements and changes including:
- the new government restrictions announced last night (24 March 2020) and effective from midnight on Wednesday, 25 March 2020;
- changes made to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award in response to the significant challenges facing that industry as a result of COVID-19 and government restrictions; and
- Queensland’s border controls effective from midnight on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 and what it means for employers who have employees that travel across the border for work.
This alert covers the latest key information employers need to consider in relation to workplace obligations, including stand down provisions, working from home, workplace health and safety and entitlements.
This alert looks at the current health advice in relation to the COVID-19 as well as some of the actions employers should be considering now in order to help curb this pandemic.