Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Recently the Federal Government passed legislation to extend the JobKeeper scheme until 28 March 2021, known as “JobKeeper 2.0”. What does this mean?
Employers who qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 will continue to have access to the temporary flexibility provisions in the Fair Work Act for as long as they are receiving JobKeeper payments for the employee, including the ability to:
direct an employee to work reduced hours or no hours at all
direct an employee to change their duties and/or location
agree with the employee to work different days or times
However, the ability to make an agreement with an employee (which the employee cannot unreasonably refuse) to take annual leave (including at half pay) has been removed for JobKeeper 2.0.
Employers who don’t qualify for JobKeeper 2.0, but who were entitled to JobKeeper payments for the employee prior to 28 September 2020 and hold a 10% decline in turnover certificate (Legacy Employers), can continue to access the above listed temporary provisions, however additional obligations apply.
Specifically, Legacy Employers:
can still direct an employee to work reduced hours, but only to a minimum of 60% of their ordinary hours as at1 March 2020
must ensure that employees work at least two hours on a given day
must give an employee seven days’ notice of giving a direction and provide more information when consulting an employee about a proposed direction
Significant penalties apply for Legacy Employers if they give a direction knowing, or were reckless in knowing, that they did not meet the 10% decline in turnover test
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