MA000002  PR717900


Fair Work Act 2009

s.157—FWC may vary etc. modern awards if necessary to achieve modern awards objective

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
The Australian Industry Group


Clerical industry



Application to vary the Clerks—Private Sector Award 2010.

A. Further to decision [[2020] FWCFB 1690] issued by the Full Bench on 28 March 2020, the above award is varied as follows:

1. By inserting Schedule I as follows:

Schedule I—Award Flexibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I.1 The provisions of Schedule I are aimed at preserving the ongoing viability of businesses and preserving jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and not to set any precedent in relation to award entitlements after its expiry date.

I.1.1 Schedule I operates from 28 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. The period of operation can be extended on application to the Fair Work Commission.

I.2 During the operation of Schedule I, the following provisions apply:

I.2.1 Operational flexibility

(a) As directed by their employer, where necessary an employee will perform any duties that are within their skill and competency regardless of their classification under clause 15—Classifications and Schedule B—Classifications, provided that the duties are safe, and that the employee is licensed and qualified to perform them.

(b) An employer must not reduce an employee’s pay if the employee is directed to perform duties in accordance with clause I.2.1.

I.2.2 Part-time employees working from home

Instead of clause 11.5 (Part-time employment), an employer is required to roster a part-time employee who is working from home by agreement with the employer, for a minimum of 2 consecutive hours on any shift.

I.2.3 Casual employees working from home

Instead of clause 12.4 (Casual employment), an employer must pay a casual employee who is working from home by agreement with the employer, a minimum payment of 2 hours’ work at the appropriate rate.

I.2.4 Ordinary hours of work for employees working from home

(a) Instead of clause 25.1(b) (Ordinary hours of work (other than shiftworkers), for employees working from home by agreement with the employer where an employee requests and the employer agrees, the spread of ordinary hours of work for day workers is between 6.00 am and 11.00 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 7.00 am and 12.30 pm on Saturday.

(b) Day workers are not shiftworkers for the purposes of any penalties, loadings or allowances under the award, including for the purposes of clause 28.

(c) The facilitative provision in clause 25.2 (Ordinary hours of work (other than shiftworkers)), which allows the spread of hours to be altered, will not operate for the employees referred to in clause I.2.4(a).

I.2.5 Agreed temporary reduction in ordinary hours

(a) An employer and the full-time and part-time employees in a workplace or section of a workplace, may agree to temporarily reduce ordinary hours of work for the employees in the workplace or section for a specified period while Schedule I is in operation.

(b) At least 75% of the full-time and part-time employees in the relevant workplace or section must approve any agreement to temporarily reduce ordinary hours.

(c) For the purposes of clause I.2.5(a), ordinary hours of work may be temporarily reduced:

(d) Where a reduction in hours takes effect under clause I.2.5(a), the employee’s ordinary hourly rate will be maintained but the weekly wage will be reduced by the same proportion.

(e) Nothing in Schedule I prevents an employer and an individual employee agreeing in writing (including by electronic means) to reduce the employee’s hours or to move the employee temporarily from full-time to part-time hours of work, with a commensurate reduction in the minimum weekly wage.

(f) If an employee’s hours have been reduced in accordance with clause I.2.5(a):

(g) For the purposes of clause I.2.5(a), where there is any reduction in the ordinary hours of work for full-time or part-time employees in a workplace or section during the period Schedule I is in operation, all relevant accruals and all entitlements on termination of employment will continue to be based on each employee’s weekly ordinary hours of work prior to the commencement of Schedule I.

(h) For the purposes of clause I.2.5(a), the approval of employees shall be determined by a vote of employees. In order for the vote to be valid, the employer must comply with the following requirements:

I.2.6 Annual leave

(a) Employers and individual employees may agree to take up to twice as much annual leave at a proportionately reduced rate for all or part of any agreed or directed period away from work, including any close-down.

(b) Instead of clauses 29.6, 29.7 and 29.8 (Annual leave), an employer may direct an employee to take any annual leave that has accrued, subject to considering the employee’s personal circumstances, by giving at least one week’s notice, or any shorter period of notice that may be agreed. A direction to take annual leave shall not result in an employee having less than 2 weeks of accrued annual leave remaining.

I.2.7 Close down

(a) Instead of clause 29.5 (Annual leave), and subject to clause I.2.7(b), an employer may:

(b) Clause I.2.7(a) does not permit an employer to require an employee to take leave for a period beyond the period of operation of Schedule I.

(c) Where an employee is placed on unpaid leave pursuant to clause I.2.7(a), the period of unpaid leave will count as service for the purposes of relevant award and NES entitlements.

2. By updating the table of contents and cross-references accordingly.

B. This determination comes into effect on 28 March 2020. In accordance with s.165(3) of the Fair Work Act 2009 this determination does not take effect until the start of the first full pay period that starts on or after 28 March 2020.


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