This report examines the responses of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for employers and employees.

The measures taken by the FWC, thus far, are:

  • Approving applications for the insertion of COVID-19 flexibility schedules in the following modern awards:
    • Clerks –Private Sector Award 2010 (Clerks Award)
    • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (Hospitality Award)
    • Restaurant Industry Award 2010 (Restaurant Award)
  • Proposing urgent changes to 103 modern awards to provide for two weeks' unpaid 'pandemic leave' for millions of award-covered workers, and to provide employers and employees greater flexibility regarding leave entitlements.
  • Approving the first application (by CVSG Electrical Construction) to vary an enterprise agreement to remove a wage increase due on 31 March 2020, and considering the impact of COVID-19 on enterprise bargaining.

This report also analyses the temporary laws passed by the New South Wales Parliament which will create greater flexibility for employers and workers to access long service leave in advance during the ongoing crisis.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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