The Fair Work Act 2009 has been varied to insert 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 new provisions will enable employers who are entitled to JobKeeper payments in relation to a particular employee to:
give the employee temporary and partial stand down directions in certain circumstances
temporarily alter the employees' usual duties and locations of work in certain circumstances
agree with the employee on altering an employee's days and times of work, and use of annual leave in certain circumstances.
Part 6-4C applies until 28 September 2020.
The Fair Work Commission has a role helping parties resolve disputes about implementing 'JobKeeper enabling directions' or flexibility agreements under the new provisions.
JobKeeper enabling directions and agreements
Who can apply to the Commission to deal with a JobKeeper dispute?
You can apply to the Commission to deal with a JobKeeper dispute under the coronavirus economic recovery provisions in the Fair Work Act if you are:
an employee organisation (eg a union), or
an employer organisation.
Note: Under section 789GC of the Fair Work Act, employer means a national system employer and employee means a national system employee.
Find out more about what a national system employer is. In some cases, textile, clothing and footwear industry contract outworkers are taken to be national system employees (see section 789BB of the Fair Work Act).
The JobKeeper payments will be administered by the Australian Taxation Office. There is more information on the JobKeeper payment page on the Australian Taxation Office’s website. Questions about the eligibility of an employer or a particular employee for the JobKeeper payment should be directed to the Australian Taxation Office.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide advice on workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 on their dedicated website Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws. You’ll find information and advice about the Fair Work Act changes for JobKeeper payments, stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, pay and sick leave entitlements, and other rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus pandemic.