April 18, 2020

JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

COVID-19 Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) employee’s taking paid annual leave

18 April 2020

There have been changes to the Fair Work Act because of COVID-19; here’s what you need to know about annual leave flexibility. 

Asking employees to take paid annual leave

An employer can ask an employee to take paid annual leave in some cases.

For example, for employees that qualify for the jobkeeper payment, an employer can ask that employee to take annual leave as long as the employee will not be left with less than 2 weeks annual leave. 

In this case, the employee must consider the request and not unreasonably refuse it. 

Taking twice the amount of annual leave

In addition to the above annual leave requests that an employer can make, both employee and employer can also agree in writing for an employee to take twice as much paid annual leave at half the employee’s rate of pay. 

Both parties can agree this if when the agreement was made, the employer and employee qualified for the jobkeeper scheme.

Section 789GJ of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) sets out the rules above. 

Other rules

You can also check if any other rules apply in any applicable award or enterprise agreement. 

As always, get advice if you are in doubt. 

Do you have questions or comments? Be sure to leave them below. 


About the author 

Vivian Michael

As founder and lawyer at Michael Law Group, CPA and owner of a business consultancy, Vivian is well-positioned to advise Australia's top entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs benefit from Vivian's commercially focussed legal advice, business experience, and commitment to deliver the best quality business legal services to entrepreneurs.

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