On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations temporarily varying 99 awards by inserting the new “Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic” amendment.
The amendment was made at the Commission’s own initiative to assist employers and employees address the unique circumstances associated with coronavirus in the workplace.
Consistent with the 14-day isolation period mandated by the Government, employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are normally required to work on-site will be able to access:
The awards with the temporary Schedule X variations were selected on the basis of:
There are identified exceptions to the application of Schedule X, including maritime, construction and mining-related awards. The Fair Work Commission assessed the operation of these awards (and industries) as not being as adversely impacted as others.
While Schedule X was initially intended to operate from 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020, the Commission has recently extended the entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay in 63 awards. For these awards, Schedule X now applies until 30 September 2020.
For more information about the entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay, including when and how these provisions apply, check out the Fair Work Ombudsman’s page on “Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes to awards”.
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