News

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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Government announces JobKeeper wage subsidy package

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a $130 billion economic stimulus package that includes a JobKeeper wage subsidy of $1500 per fortnight per employee.  The Government will require employers to pass on the payment to affected workers.  The Prime Minister said the Government expects up to 6 million workers to receive the payment over the next 6 months:

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FURTHER UPDATE: Proposed Portable Long Service Leave (PLSL) Scheme for Queensland Community Services Sector

Note: After an understandable delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Bill 2019 was passed by Queensland Parliament on 17 June 2020 and subsequently signed into law as the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2020. The operative date for the Scheme remains to be determined but 1 January 2021 is likely. ES Clients are directed to the Briefing Paper issued by email on 8 July 2020 for additional background.

Late last year we advised valued clients operating in the community services sector in Queensland that the Palaszczuk Labor government had introduced the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Bill 2019 into Parliament on 27 November 2019.

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