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The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has made significant changes to both the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 (the Clerks Award) and the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (the Hospitality Award) in response to the threat posed to businesses and to jobs by COVID-19.
The Clerks Award covers 1.56 million people (or 14.3% of employees). The majority of those employees have their pay set or underpinned by the Award.
The particular changes of note in the COVID-19 Schedule were:
The changes to the Awards came into effect immediately and will be in effect until 30 June 2020. The parties may apply to extend the provisions.
On 25 March, the Full Bench altered the Hospitality Award by inserting a special Schedule (Schedule L), which provides employers with the ability to implement a number of measures to limit the loss of jobs within the hospitality industry.
Changes of note which were approved by the Full Bench include:
Similar changes are in the process of being sought to the Restaurant Industry Award.
The above content is commentary rather than legal advice and was prepared on the basis of applicable legislation, government programs and initiatives that were in place as of the date of publication. Given the ongoing evolution of both the COVID-19 pandemic and frequent consequential changes to the various laws and programs within all Australian states and territories, readers should seek legal advice on the current situation as applicable to their specific circumstances before taking any action in relation to the above.
Further information / assistance regarding the issues raised in this article is available from the authors, Tim McDonald – Partner, Stephen Marriott – Senior Associate, or your usual contact at Moray & Agnew.