Coronavirus and Australian Workplace Laws
Apr 17, 2020
This article is sponsored by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
In March, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) made determinations to vary the Hospitality Award and the Restaurant Award.
The Hospitality Award determination inserted a temporary new Schedule J, which applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 24 March. The Restaurant Award determination inserted a temporary new Schedule I, which applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 31 March 2020. These temporary Schedules added extra flexibility to help employers and employees during the impact of coronavirus. Both determinations were initially due to stop operating on 30 June 2020.
On 29 June 2020, the Commission made new determinations that extended and changed parts to these temporary schedules, including who these apply to. The updated schedules apply from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020 until 27 September 2020.
Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws
If your workplace has been impacted by coronavirus, the Fair Work Ombudsman has dedicated online resources and information about your workplace rights and obligations. This includes:
- if an employer needs to stand down their employees or reduce their working hours
- if an employee or their family member is sick with coronavirus
- if an employee is stuck overseas or is required to be quarantined or to self-isolate.
Please note this information is being continually updated to reflect developments as the situation changes and as needed.
Links to other Australian Government information on coronavirus:
- Department of Health - for the latest information on the virus, including requirements and conditions for isolation and quarantine periods and when testing should be sought.
- Services Australia – for information and services to help you if you are affected by coronavirus, including Centrelink payments and support.
- Australian Taxation Office – JobKeeper payment – for employers to register their interest for the new JobKeeper wage subsidy.
- Business.gov.au – for information about financial assistance, eligibitlity and timing for new government support for Australian businesses.
- Department of Home Affairs - information for visa holders relating to coronavirus including new special arrangements for international students who are in Australia.
- Australia.gov.au - for the latest coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
- Safe Work Australia - for information and referrals about managing the risks of contracting coronavirus in the workplace.
- Smart Traveller's webpage on coronavirus