Fair Work Commission agrees to vary the Clerks Award in light of COVID-19

By Lachlan Boucaut
COVID-19 Employment & Safety

In brief 1 min read

On Saturday 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission introduced temporary changes to the Clerks – Private Sector Award in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on clerical and administrative employees.

Key takeaways

The following changes operate until 30 June 2020:

  • an employer can agree (in writing, including by email) with an individual employee to reduce the employee's hours (including by more than 25%) or to move the employee temporarily from full-time to part-time hours of work, and reduce their pay proportionately;
  • by mutual agreement, the span of hours for employees working from home can be changed to 6:00am – 11:00pm Monday to Friday, and 7:00am – 12:30pm on Saturdays;
  • the minimum engagement for casual and part-time employees working from home has been reduced to two hours;
  • an employer can direct an employee to take annual leave with one week's notice, as long as the employee is left with two weeks of annual leave after finishing the period of leave they were directed to take;
  • by mutual agreement, annual leave can be taken for up to double the length of time at half the rate;
  • if a close-down occurs, only one week's notice is required to direct employees to take annual leave; and
  • the performance of work outside an employee's classification level is permitted.