Employer Assist: Special provisions Pandemic Leave

The Fair Work Commission are proposing new temporary changes in most awards including the VMRSR Award.

The new temporary measures (until 30 June 2020) into selected modern awards include unpaid pandemic leave and the ability to take twice the amount of annual leave at half pay.

The following is an outline of the proposed provisions (which may vary):

  • employees to 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.
  • employees and their employer can agree for the employee to take twice as much annual leave on half pay. The agreement must be in writing.

Submissions supporting or opposing the above must be lodged by 6 April 2020.

The changes will be pushed through this week depending on whether the Commission receive any submissions contesting or seeking adjustments to the proposal.

If so, there will be a hearing on 8 April. Otherwise, a decision is likely soon after the closing date of 6 April.

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