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Fair Work Australia, supporting employees and employers

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The government’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic has helped to minimise the spread across our country… but the economic impact has hit hard on Australian businesses and their employees. The severity of this impact is yet to be quantified as we still face an extended period of disruption.

Fair Work Australia has made an array of temporary changes to the Fair Work Act in order to support employees, employers and the community during this time.

As an employer, it’s vital that you comply with Australia’s workplace laws and to be familiar with any changes to your responsibilities.

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Fair Work amendments

On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations varying 99 awards to provide unpaid pandemic leave and greater flexibility for annual leave for employees in many awards. You can read more on the Fair Work unpaid pandemic leave page.

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces. You can find out more about the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme on the Fair Work Coronavirus website, on the ATO’s website and in our Coronavirus Economic Support summary.

In addition, you can review all Fair Work’s information and advice about rights and responsibilities at work during coronavirus. This includes issues such as health and safety in the workplace, arranging flexible work, standing down employees and business closures. Visit their website to read more on these topics. Plus, Safe Work Australia has helpful information about safe workplace principles.

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You might have noticed that part of the Federal Government’s road map out of COVID-19 restrictions includes workplaces developing a COVID-safe plan.

You can access a rather lengthy template here – it guides you through the important things to consider to keep your workplace safe and healthy while COVID-19 is still in the community, including risk minimisation and a planned response to an instance of the virus in your workplace.

Separate to the changes made by Fair Work Australia, on 24 March 2020 the NSW Government announced amendments to the Long Service Leave Act 1955.

The changes allow more flexibility around how an employee accesses their long service leave and they are no longer required to give a month’s notice before commencement. You can read more about this on the NSW Government’s Industrial Relations website.

At Accounting For Good, we have a team of highly skilled not for profit accounting specialists. If you have questions about JobKeeper or other government stimulus schemes, please contact us today. Read more not for profit sector articles.

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