Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

FWC announces COVID-19 changes to clerks’ award

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The Fair Work Commission has granted a variation to the clerks’ award to provide more flexibility to work at home, take leave and reduce hours.  This award applies to around 1.56 million Australian employees.
The application for the variation was filed jointly by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group with the support of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Services Union.  The Minister for Industrial Relations also provided submissions supporting the application.
Key elements of the decision include:

  • Limited period of operation from 28 March to 30 June 2020
  • Operational flexibility allowing employees to be directed to perform duties outside the scope of their classification
  • Working from home.  Requirements around minimum consecutive hours, minimum payment of hours and agreed flexibility in spread of hours
  • Agreed temporary reduction in ordinary hours.
  • Annual leave
  • Close down arrangements
 A copy of the determination can be found here.
This decision follows a similar recent ruling to change the hospitality award due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Federal Government’s announcement of the Jobseeker package yesterday, in conjunction with these changes, should give many employers the flexibility to retain staff and utilise them as effectively as possible during this unsettled period.
Please contact a member of our Workplace Team for more information about this decision or any advice you may require to implement these changes in your business.

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