*The following info only applies to those who are participating in the JobKeeper scheme.  

In order to allow for the implementation of the JobKeeper scheme, changes have been made to the Fair Work Act 2009. This will have an impact on the rights you would normally have at work. These changes will be automatically repealed on the 28th of September 2020. 

How will it change my pay?

The JobKeeper scheme will not change your entitlements and should not negatively impact your income. You are entitled to be paid either the subsidised amount ($1200 or $750 depending on your hours) or the wages that you would otherwise be paid, whichever is higher. You will still have all the same entitlements as you would ordinarily. Your superannuation will remain the same as that which you would normally earn. 

Can I be instructed to do different work?

Yes, your employer may direct you to perform different duties if it is reasonable and necessary. You must be given 3 days’ notice in writing of any change and your employer must consult with you or your union first. Any new duties must be reasonably within the scope of your employer’s business operations, within your skill, qualifications and competency and safe for you to perform. You must be paid your usual rate or the rate applicable to your new duties, whichever is higher. 

Can I be forced to take leave?

Your employer may ask you to agree to take some of your annual leave as long as you will not be left with less than 2 weeks. You may only refuse this request if you have reasonable grounds to do so. You must be paid your annual leave at your usual rate and you may agree with your employer to take twice the period of annual leave at half your rate of pay. 

Can my boss cut my pay and still make me work my usual hours?

No, you are still entitled to your usual rate of pay. If your employer reduces your hours to save jobs in the business then you must either be paid the subsidised amount ($1200 or $750 depending on your hours) or your ordinary pay rate for the hours you work, whichever is higher. 

Can my boss unilaterally cut my hours?

Yes, your boss my direct you to work reduced hours if you cannot be usefully employed for your normal hours because of changes to business from COVID-19 and the directive is reasonable and necessary to save jobs. You must be given 3 days written notice and your employer must consult with you or your union first. You are not entitled to be paid for hours that have been cut but you must be paid your ordinary rate for the hours you are still working. You must receive at least $1200 per fortnight before tax of you work more than 20 hours normally or $750 per fortnight before tax if you work less than 20 hours normally. You will continue to accrue annual leave based on your former hours. 

Do I have to work from home?

Your boss may ask you to change the location of your work, including asking you to work from home, if it is reasonable and necessary to save jobs. You must be given 3 days written notice and your employer must consult with you or your union first. You must not be asked to travel an unreasonable distance and it must be safe for you to continue to perform your duties from home. Workplace health and safety laws apply when working from home. 

If you have a concern about something at work, contact your Union or us at the Young Workers Advice Service by emailing youngworkerscbr@unionsact.org.au. We can give you advice about what you are entitled to, 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 http://www.unionsact.org.au/joinyourunion/ or have a look at our fact sheet here.

Authorised M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601.

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