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FWC approves unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave at half pay for Modern Awards

On 1 April, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued a statement identifying its intent to vary over 100 Modern Awards on its own initiative. The provisional view of the Full Bench was that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Modern Awards should be varied as a matter of urgency to provide a majority of award-covered employees with access to two weeks unpaid “pandemic leave” and to permit annual leave to be taken at half-pay, by mutual agreement.

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