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