FWC Full Bench varies Clerks Award to address COVID-19 challenges

30 Mar 2020 |

The Fair Work Commission has today decided to vary the Clerks Private Sector Award to insert a Schedule of special conditions to assist employers and employees adapt to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Today’s decision of the Fair Work Commission allows those special conditions to operate until 30 June 2020.

The special conditions, agreed between the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, the Australian Services Union and the Australian Council of Trade Unions, provide flexibilities around hours of work and annual leave to facilitate businesses and their employees being in the best position possible to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, while retaining the rates of pay for work performed.

Key elements of the special conditions include:

  • Flexibility around the range of duties that employees can perform;
  • Minimum shift and working hours flexibilities for employees that are working from home;
  • Temporary reductions in working hours where agreed by 75% of the affected employees, with consideration to be given by employers to secondary employment and personal development sought by employees;
  • Facilitating representation and advice for employees’ consideration of proposals to reduce working hours;
  • The capacity to take longer periods of leave at proportionally reduced rates of pay; and
  • The capacity for employers to close down operations while employees are on leave, or direct employees to take leave having regard to their personal circumstances.

Importantly, employees will continue to accrue their entitlements on the usual basis if their working hours are reduced, and any unpaid leave taken during a close down will count as service.

ACCI Workplace Relations Director Scott Barklamb said: “ACCI is proud to have taken part in this historic negotiation.”

“In this extremely difficult time, it has been heartening to see unions and employers working together to ensure more businesses stay in business and more people in jobs”

“I would like to thank our colleagues in the ASU, Ai Group and the ACTU for their combined efforts in achieving this outcome during such a challenging time. We’d like to also thank Fair Work Commission President Iain Ross for both his helpful cooperation and for allowing this amendment to occur so quickly.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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