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She has experience in civil law and human rights law with a double degree in law and media production. Here, we answer your questions about the JobKeeper scheme. A completely healthy NSW woman whose housemate is in self-isolation after a COVID-19 scare has been forced by her employer to take two weeks of her annual leave… The Fair Work Ombudsman adds that the employer must be able to show that the new duties or location “is necessary to continue the employment of one or more employees.”. The government’s furlough (job retention) scheme is now going to run until the end of October 2020. Employee breaks are key to preserving fair work rights, as well as ensuring a productive work place. The process for taking annual leave is outlined in the agreement between employer and employee. If there is no applicable registered agreement, the employee may be directed to take annual leave where reasonable under the Fair Work Act. With enrollment now open for employers, many employees are still confused about what exactly the JobKeeper scheme means, and what their entitlements are. An employee who works 38 hours (full time) per week will accrue 152 hours of leave annually. Find tools, resources and information you might need on our. They include information for both the employer and the employee. Our platform allows you and your business to get simple and smart legal protections. Before giving this direction, it is important to check the relevant modern award or enterprise agreement and follow those rules. Please note that comments aren’t monitored for personal information or workplace complaints. A lot of businesses have stood down employees because of COVID-19 shut downs, however this is different. Any disputes that arise from the JobKeeper provisions can be directed to the Fair Work Commission. Coronavirus information: Find out about workplace entitlements and obligations during coronavirus. The requirements of such a direction under the National Employment Standards are: Specific entitlements vary depending upon the applicable award or enterprise agreement. If the registered agreement does not define the amount, then forcing an employee to take leave because they have accrued excess leave must be a ‘reasonable direction’. If you're not already a Mamamia member, sign up (it's easy, we promise). Use of sprintlaw.com.au is subject to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Post continues below podcast. That is not what the JobKeeper scheme says. The current situation around COVID-19 might be making you feel scared or uncertain. This is for several reasons: However, from an employee’s perspective, they may want to save up their annual leave for a long holiday, or for a time when their children or spouse are on holidays too. And, of course, best practice is always to negotiate leave with staff and let them know the operational requirements of your business well in … Note: A requirement to take paid annual leave may be reasonable if, for example: (a) the em… Other Reclaiming: Mortgage Fees, Council Tax etc, Pensions, Annuities & Retirement Planning, Report Holiday Deals, Bargains & Special Offers, Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News. For TTY: 13 36 77. Being open with your employees about how accrued leave will affect your operational needs, and what needs to be done, will help place you both on the same page. Most modern awards and enterprise agreements provide an ability for employers to direct employees to take annual leave if their balance is ‘excessive’. In this section, read more about: JobKeeper scheme - overview; Annual leave; Sick and carer's leave; Other paid leave; Unpaid leave. Q If my business starts to slow down can I make employees take annual leave? "It is a common misconception that employees can take annual leave whenever they want," said Alastair Brown, BrightHR chief technological officer. Under JobKeeper, employers are permitted to direct their workers to do alternative duties from normal if it is within their skill and competency. A reasonable circumstance may be a business shut-down due to COVID-19. The vast majority of modern awards provide that an employee is considered to have an excessive leave balance if: With plans available from just $58 per week, now is an excellent time to join Workplace Assured. Fair Work Online: www.fairwork.gov.au Though forced leave is possible, it should be a last resort. Under the Federal Government’s National Employment Standards (NES), employees other than casual employees have the right to four weeks paid annual leave (for shift workers, see here). I could tell they really cared about my business.”, “They’ve helped us tremendously and are seriously knowledgeable and honest. talking to your employer or employee about fixing it. The rules about when and if an employer can direct an employee to take annual leave is set out in awards and registered agreements. This article applies to employees other than casual employees. Again, to force an employee to take leave during a business shut down, it must be allowed in the employee’s registered agreement or modern award. 3. "Employers can decline annual leave requests where they have a business reason to do so," Brown addded. Visit Fair Work Australia to determine what circumstances apply to your terms of employment. unless there has been an agreed upon pay cut). Alistair is a Legal Intern at Lawpath. If the business is shut over a holiday period. Essentially, employers will use the JobKeeper payment to assist their financial requirements by subsidising part of your income. ", “I'm so glad I used Sprintlaw - it was easy, affordable and their lawyers gave top quality advice. Saved from fairwork.gov.au on 13/11/2020 4:53:32 AM, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, Pay during inclement weather & stand down, Award & agreement free wages & conditions, Directing an employee to take annual leave, Direction to take annual leave during a shut down, Pay during inclement weather and stand down, Award and agreement free wages and conditions, Save results from our Pay, Shift, Leave and Notice and Redundancy Calculators. The Fair Work Ombudsman stipulates that in the instance of changed duties, they must be safe, the employee must have any required licenses or qualifications for the duties and it must be within the scope of the employer’s business. There are certain circumstances in which businesses may direct their employees to take annual leave. COVID-19 has led to many businesses asking their employees to take annual leave and reduce hours during the slowdown in business activity. Justine is a legal consultant at Sprintlaw. Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors speaks about common issues employers are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Business powers to force employees to take annual leave depends upon what particular registered agreement or award exists between the employee and the employer. 15.2.a 15.4.a He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. Directions to take paid leave can be frustrating, as you may have plans to use the time for a holiday down the track. Sprintlaw is a new type of law firm that operates completely online and on a fixed-fee basis. It helps to understand more about decisions around when annual leave is taken, before we examine the circumstances when an employer can tell you to take a break against your will. With plans available from just $58 per week, now is an excellent time to join, the employee has accrued more than 8 weeks; or, cannot result at any time in the employee’s remaining paid annual leave balance being less than six weeks taking into account other paid annual leave arrangements, must not require taking paid annual leave of less than one week, must not require the employee to take a period of annual leave beginning less than eight weeks or more than 12 months, after the direction is given, and. However, with the right processes in place, you can get employees to take enforced annual leave while still having a positive working relationship. Technically, employees can take as much or as little leave as they like at once.

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