See Fair Work Act 2009 ss.789GE, 789GF, and 789GDB(3)
Division 4 of Part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act authorises an employer who qualifies for the jobkeeper scheme to give a jobkeeper enabling direction to an employee about their duties of work or the location where their work is to be performed.
An employer that has qualified for the jobkeeper scheme can direct an employee to perform any duties during a period (the relevant period) that are within the employee’s skill and competency.
A direction about duties of work is authorised if:
If a direction in relation to duties of work applies to an employee, the employer must ensure that the employee’s hourly base rate of pay is not less than the greater of the following:
The following example is taken from the Explanatory Memorandum to the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Bill 2020.
Ameisa operates a warehouse in NSW. The Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010 applies to the employees of the warehouse, including Meera. As a storeworker grade 4, Meera generally acts in a leading hand capacity, coordinating the work of other storeworkers, performs liaison duties including with customers, and controlling inventory.
Ameisa’s business is affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and qualifies for the jobkeeper scheme. Given the downturn in Ameisa’s business operations, Meera is not required to perform her usual duties in respect of customer liaison. In order to keep Meera connected to employment during the pandemic, rather than reducing Meera’s hours, Ameisa gives Meera a jobkeeper enabling direction that changes Meera’s usual duties and enables her to be retain her regularly rostered hours, albeit in other duties.
Ameisa wants Meera to drive a forklift in the warehouse. Because the duties can be performed with appropriate social distancing and in a way that is safe with respect to the nature and spread of Coronavirus, reasonably within the scope of Ameisa’s business operations, and Meera holds a current high risk work licence to operate a forklift (class LO), Ameisa is able to give a jobkeeper enabling direction authorised by s 789GE to drive the forklift.
While Meera’s duties have been modified by the jobkeeper enabling direction, the other terms and conditions relating to her employment, such as the days and hours she works, are unchanged.
An employer that has qualified for the jobkeeper payment can give an employee a direction to perform work during a period (the relevant period), at a different location to the employee’s normal place of work. This includes a direction that the employee must work from home.
A direction regarding the location of work is authorised if: