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Award flexibility during coronavirus – Proposed new pandemic leave

Workers may soon have access to unpaid pandemic leave and extended annual leave at reduced rates to help keep them in their jobs through the coronavirus crisis.

On 1 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) issued a Statement outlining its intention to update 103 awards during the coronavirus pandemic. The proposed updates would provide:

  1. An entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave
    Any employee may elect to take up to 2 weeks’ unpaid leave if the employee is required, by government or medical authorities or acting on medical advice, to self-isolate or is otherwise prevented from working by measures taken by government or medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in circumstances where the employee is required to work at premises operated by an employer.
  2. Flexibility to take annual leave at half pay
    An employee may be entitled to take twice as much leave on half page if agreed with their employer, instead of full pay. This will provide employees and employers more flexibility during throughout the crisis.

The proposed variations would operate until 30 June 2020. The awards this change will impact include;

  • Restaurant Award flexibility during coronavirus
  • Clerks Award flexibility during coronavirus
  • Hospitality Award flexibility during coronavirus

Information in this article has been sourced from: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/award-flexibility-during-coronavirus

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