What You Need to Know About JobKeeper, Pandemic Leave, and Award Changes

Caity Wynn

Caity Wynn

Product Marketing Manager

April 24, 2020

What You Need to Know About JobKeeper, Pandemic Leave, and Award Changes

Caity Wynn, Product Marketing Manager
April 24, 2020


Over the past couple of weeks, the Australian Government and the Fair Work Ombudsman have announced a number of changes in response to the current global pandemic. These changes may impact your business and your team.

Read on for a quick summary of these changes and to learn how Deputy can help you simply manage their impact. Here’s everything you need to know — all in one place.

The JobKeeper payment scheme

The Australian Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper stimulus package to help alleviate the significant financial burden the pandemic will have for an estimated 6 million Australians.

The Government has set a number of qualifications to assess if your business and your staff are eligible. Not sure if you fit the criteria? Get a quick breakdown of the requirements — and if you use Deputy, you can use this JobKeeper Eligibility report to find out which of your employees are eligible.

New Pandemic Leave Entitlement (all Awards)

To ensure that employees are able to adhere to mandatory quarantine regulations, Fair Work have introduced pandemic leave. Pandemic leave dictates that employees are entitled to 14 days of unpaid leave for the purposes of mandatory isolation, without putting their job at risk.

With Leave Management in Deputy, you can quickly create Pandemic Leave as a leave type, and apply it to all employees at once. Importantly, this will support employees in being able to self-isolate themselves should they need to without concern for the job. And as a manager, you’re able to quickly identify and replace sick employees on the roster and ensure they aren’t scheduled for the duration of their quarantine.

Industry Award changes

For industries that have been more dramatically impacted, Fair Work has been quick to pass a number of temporary amendments to certain awards, allowing for more flexibility in certain areas. Here’s a recap of those amendments.

Hospitality Award (HIGA) and Restaurant Industry Award (RIA)

With hospitality businesses among the hardest hit, the Hospitality Award and Restaurant Industry Award have now been amended to allow Full-Time and Part-Time employees to have their hours reduced without penalty to the employer.

As an employer, if you do reduce your team’s hours you will need to make sure that you have amended any auto-payment settings in payroll.

Further changes have been introduced to Annual Leave conditions. Now employers are able to force employees to take their paid leave, or additionally to take their leave at a reduced rate of pay for a longer period of time.

Clerks Award (CSPA)

Similar to the Hospitality and Restaurant Industry Awards, the Clerks Award has also allowed for part-time and full-time employees to have their hours reduced with no penalty to their employer.

To allow for greater flexibility for those now working from home, the award has also expanded what is classified as ‘ordinary hours of work’ in which overtime will not apply, to include:

  • 6:00 am – 11:00 pm Monday to Friday
  • 7:00 am to 12.30 pm Saturday

If you currently use Deputy for Award interpretation, you will need to make sure that any eligible employees currently paid under the Clerks Award are moved to the Clerks Award – Covid-19 version. You can find out more about updating awards here.

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caity Wynn
From the small improvements to the big new releases, Caity can give you the low down of everything that's moving and shaking on the Deputy platform.
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