Temporary award flexibility in Fast Food Award during coronavirus
Jun 09, 2020
This article is sponsored by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) can help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Fair Work Act has been amended to support the implementation and operation of the 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 and annual leave changes to the awards
The Fair Work Commission has added a temporary new schedule into 99 awards, including the Hospitality Award, Fast Food Award and Restaurant Award, 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 the normal pay if the employer agrees.
The schedule applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020. It is important that you know which award applies to you. If you’re not sure, you can use the FWO’s award finder tool at www.fairwork.gov.au/awards to find out.
Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws
If your workplace is impacted by coronavirus, the FWO has information about your workplace rights and obligations. This includes information about:
• stand downs and reducing hours or changing location of work, including working from home
• pay and leave entitlements, including if someone is sick with COVID-19
• entitlements if an employee is stuck overseas or is required to be quarantined or self-isolate
• ending employment and redundancy entitlements.
UPDATE: On 19 May 2020, the Fair Work Commission varied the Fast Food Award by inserting a temporary new Schedule H. The new schedule applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 19 May 2020 until 31 July 2020.
Schedule H adds flexibility during the coronavirus for:
- Part-time work
- Annual leave.
For more information, please visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s web page on Fast Food Award flexibility during coronavirus