Clerks Award Flexibility
The Clerks Award has been temporarily amended to enable more flexibility during the Coronavirus outbreak.
On 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission made a determination that amended the Clerks Award for the pay period from 28 March to 20 June 2020. The temporary Schedule I allows for the following flexibility:
Change in duties
Employers can tell their employees to do any (safe) task they have the skill and competency for, even if those tasks aren’t included in their normal duties. If an employer asks an employee to perform tasks for more than one day that are over their current classification, the employer needs to pay them at the higher rate. Employees performing tasks below their usual classification are paid the same.
Minimum hours reduced
The minimum engagement/pay for part-time and casual employees working from home can be reduced from three hours per shift to two hours per shift.
Span of hours varied while working from home
Employees who have agreed to work from home can change their span of hours to allow for more flexible work arrangements. The span of hours allowed is between:
- 6am and 11pm Monday to Friday
- 7am and 12.30pm Saturday
Hours of work for full-time and part-time employees
Hours of permanent employees can be reduced to not less than 75% of their full-time ordinary hours. Fair Work outlines the employee voting process required for a potential hours reduction.
If an employee has had their hours reduced, they may ask permission to find additional work with another employer. They may also request to access training, professional development and study leave. An employer can’t unreasonably refuse an employee’s request for find other work and must consider all reasonable requests for training, professional development or study leave.
Taking annual leave / leave without pay (LWP)
Employers can direct their employees to take annual leave with one week’s notice (or a shorter period that is agreed). If the business is temporarily closing down, once annual leave is exhausted, the employer can direct their employees to take leave without pay (LWP).
If the employer agrees, an employee can take up to twice as much annual leave as they have accrued at a proportionally reduced rate.
Fair Work has made it clear that the Schedule I award variations may be extended beyond 30 June 2020 if necessary.
For more information on Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws, go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website.