[2021] FWC 5959


Fair Work Act 2009

s.158 - Application to vary or revoke a modern award

Mr Andrew Donnellan

Scientific services



Application to vary a modern award to provide paid COVID-19 vaccination leave - Professional Employees Award 2020

[1] The Commission has received an application from Mr Andrew Donnellan to vary the Professional Employees Award 2020 by inserting a new subclause in Schedule X providing for paid COVID-19 vaccination leave.

[2] A conference of interested parties was held on 20 September 2021. The Applicant and the Ai Group participated in the conference.

[3] A number of issues were discussed at the conference including the utility of proceeding to hear and determine the application in circumstances where:

(i) The application seeks to insert a new subclause in Schedule X. Schedule X expires on 31 December 2021, unless an application is made and granted to extend its operation. I am not aware of any such application having been made to date. These circumstances raise an issue as to the utility in proceeding to hear and determine the application at this time, or whether the application should be adjourned, with a right to have it brought back on if the operation of Schedule X is extended.

(ii) The factual context is very dynamic. According to government reports, vaccination levels have doubled since the application lodged. As at 18 September 2021, vaccination levels of persons over 16 years of age are 71.7% having received at least one dose, and 46.7% being fully vaccinated.

(iii) In these circumstances, by the time the application is heard and determined, there may be little, if any, work for the proposed clause to do, if the application was granted.


[4] The following directions are issued:

1. Submissions by any interested person addressing the utility of the Commission proceeding to hear and determine the application, including the issues outlined above are to be filed by 4:00pm on Friday, 1 October 2021. All submissions will be posted to the website.

2. Any submissions in reply are to be filed by 4:00pm on Friday, 8 October 2021.

3. On receipt of all submissions a further conference of interested parties will be convened.

[5] Submissions should be sent electronically to amod@fwc.gov.au.

[6] A dedicated My Award subscription service called ‘Professional Employees Award 2020’ has been established. Interested parties should subscribe to receive notifications on the subscription services page on the Commission’s website. Any questions about the subscription service can be sent to amod@fwc.gov.au.

Seal of the Fair Work Commission with member’ssignature.


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