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Introduction

The FWC has advised that the Fair Work Act 2009 has been temporarily varied to insert new a new Part 6-4C to help employers who qualify for the JobKeeper payment to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Coronavirus economic response provisions in Part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act 2009 temporarily enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper payment to give an employee a ‘JobKeeper enabling direction’.

This legislation will temporarily amend the Fair Work Act to enable employers, in certain circumstances, to:

  • make temporary and partial stand downs
  • alter an employee’s usual duties and locations of work
  • alter an employee’s days and times of work, and
  • request that an employee take paid annual leave, including at half pay.

The Fair Work Commission’s primary role is to deal with disputes about JobKeeper enabling directions or flexibility agreements. We are empowered to deal with the dispute by mediation or conciliation, making a recommendation or expressing an opinion, or arbitration.

To support this new jurisdiction, the FWC has established:

Find out more

For more information about the Coronavirus economic response provisions in the Fair Work Act, please see the JobKeeper disputes – coronavirus economic response page on the FWC website.

The FWC will also continue to update the Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates & advice page; and advises that to find out more about measures taken to restrict gatherings and non-essential business, and support for businesses, please read the latest Information note – Government responses to COVID-19 pandemic (PDF).

This article is part of a regular newsletter. If you wish to receive the newsletter providing information on the latest employee relations news and trends click here and use the “contact us” tab.

As you know all new employees must be provided with a Fair Work Information Statement at or soon after they start working for you (include it in your welcome pack). The FWO has updated the Fair Work Information Statement. Click here for a copy.

A Full Federal Court decision handed down on 21 August 2019 confirmed the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards. The information in the Fair Work Information Statement has been updated to reflect this decision. An appeal of this decision will be heard by the High Court. In the meantime, the decision made on 21 August 2019 is the current state of the law and applies to affected employers and employees.

See article: Federal Court: What a difference a “day” makes.