Employee Award provision update
The Commission has decided to vary the Awards to include the pandemic leave provisions.
Those provisions were:
1. A right for employees to take two weeks of “unpaid pandemic leave” when required by government directions to self-isolate; and
2. The capacity for employer and employee to agree for the employee to take twice as much annual leave at half pay.
The new provisions take effect immediately and will be in effect until the end of September 2020 (i.e. such that leave must start before but can end after 30 September 2020).
Further information via the Fair Work Ombudsman Website – unpaid pandemic leave in award
Are you an employer or and employee looking for information about your rights and responsibilities relating to COVID-19?
Information about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you’re affected by the outbreak of covid-19, including information about stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, and pay and sick leave entitlements is available via the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Information for workplaces on COVID-19 work health and safety, including mental health and worker’s compensation, is available via the Safe Work Australia website.
Farm Worker visa update
The Government will apply flexible arrangements to allow critical workers, including Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme participants and Working Holiday Makers, to extend their stay in Australia:
- Seasonal Worker Programme workers with visas due to expire will be able to apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream.
- Pacific Labour Scheme workers with visas due to expire can apply for a new Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) Pacific Labour scheme stream visa.
- Workers currently in Australia under these programs will also be exempt from the requirement to work for a single employer and will be able to move between approved employers.
In addition, Working Holiday Makers who are working in critical sectors (eg agriculture, aged or health care) will be exempt from the six month work limitation with one employer and eligible for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream.
Employers are still required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.
Full information on the Home Affairs website.
Updates from Australia’s major farm input resellers
GrainGrowers has contacted major suppliers who have provided in-depth responses to queries and concerns raised by growers around product availability and contingency plans. Download and read in full.