COVID-19 changes Awards and ATO approves late Jobkeeper Payments
Award Changes for Schools
Recently the FWC varied by consent, the Hospitality, Clerks – Private Award and Restaurant Industry Award and inserted schedule X around pandemic leave in 99 others. On 24 April 2020, a Full Bench of the FWC made another consent variation in the Application to vary the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010  FWCFB 2108. The variation has no impact upon teachers.
The Award variation is from 24 April 2020 until 1 August 2020
It allows for non-teaching staff to:
- To have their hours reduced by 25% on notice, and
- Be directed to other duties within their skill and experience irrespective of the classification
Reduction in hours – rules
- The notice of intention must be in writing;
- The direction comes into effect 5 days after the notice of intention is issued to the employee and remains in force for a period of no more than 12 weeks;
- Immediately after issuing a notice of intention, the employer must discuss the reason behind the direction with the employee (or their representative) and must notify the IEU;
- An employee given a direction will continue to accrue annual leave, personal/carers leave and other accruals based on their ordinary hours of work prior to the reduction in hours resulting from the direction;
- A full-time employee directed to reduce their hours retains their substantive full-time position; and
- Any redundancy payment will be made at the employee’s substantive fraction prior to the issuing of the direction.
Direction for other duties – rules
- The duties must be safe and the employee must be licensed and qualified to perform them;
- The employee’s pay must not be reduced; and
- Where employees are directed by their employer to perform duties at a higher level than their substantive classification, the higher level classification rates of pay will apply.
ATO Allows Employer Late Payment of JobKeeper Payments
The ATO is allowing late payment of Jobkeeper for the first two fortnights of the scheme.
The ATO has advised that for the first two fortnights (i.e. 30 March – 12 April and 13 April – 26 April), employers can pay the minimum $1,500 fortnightly payment late, provided it is paid by Friday 8 May. This means that employers can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight by 8 May, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 and still win the subsidy from the ATO payable shortly after.
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