Stand Downs

You can only be stood down under very specific circumstances.

Young Workers Advice Service Team avatar
Written by Young Workers Advice Service Team
Updated over a week ago

What is a stand down?

A stand down is where you are still employed but you are no longer working or receiving any payment. Stand downs can only happen in instances where you cannot be usefully employed through no fault of your employer. This may happen in cases where your workplace is forced to shut down under instruction from the Government. 

If you can be usefully employed to do tasks other than those which you regularly do then you cannot be stood down. 

Should I be paid during a shut down?

If you have been legitimately stood down then your employer is not legally required to pay you. Regardless, it may be a good idea to try to negotiate with your employer to reduce your hours or to allow you to access your paid leave rather than standing you down without pay. 

What do I do if I think my stand down might not be legitimate?

If you have a question about whether or not a stand down in your workplace is legitimate, you should contact your union immediately or provide your email and phone number so that we can get in contact with you. We can give you advice about what your entitlements are, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.   

To find out more about how to join your union, visit or have a look at our fact sheet here

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