The end of the JobKeeper payment on 28 March 2021 also sees the end of the Fair Work JobKeeper Enabling Stand Down Directions.
These directions allowed eligible employers to direct eligible employees to temporarily:
Work on less days than they usually worked
Work for less hours on a particular days or day.
Work less hours overall
Not work any hours at all
The directions also stated that employees accrued leave entitlements and that redundancy pay, and payment in lieu of notice of termination were calculated as if the direction had not been given. In other words, as if JobKeeper and COVID had never existed.
Commencing the 29 March 2021, we revert to the previous employment conditions, and the freedom of adjusting hours and workdays without employee agreement is finished.
What You Need to Do
If your employees cannot go back to their original days and hours due to current business operations and turnover, now is the time to agree new workdays and hours if required, to meet the needs of your business. Leave entitlements will accrue on the new hours of work, and those hours will also apply to redundancy pay and payment in lieu of notice.
We recommend you consult with your employees to get agreement on new employment arrangements that will commence on 29 March. Changes for permanent employees need to be made in writing as a contract variation. If you agree that their employment status is changing from permanent to casual, you are required to provide the appropriate notice, pay out any leave accruals and provide a new contract.
At this stage, under some Awards, flexibility including remote working arrangements, start and finish times, and taking of annual leave is still available.
If employees do not want to accept new arrangements, then technically their original position is redundant. This means you need to follow the redundancy process, give notice of termination and pay out all accrued entitlements.
Courtesy of our HR Consultants – HR Central