Looking back to look forward: COVID-19 Monthly Round-up

Looking back to look forward: COVID-19 Monthly Round-up

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5 May 2020

Looking back on another busy month we have continued to provide updates to our members, particularly on the impacts of Covid-19. Here is a brief recap of the key updates on which you can click on for more detailed information.

Further changes to JobKeeper Scheme

We informed members that the Australian Government on 24 April had announced further changes to the eligibility rules for JobKeeper Payments. This included religious practitioners in religious institutions, employing charities and full-time students.

Emergency Staffing Options for the Residential Out-Of-Home Care Sector

Our social services members were advised that the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) and the Australian Services Union (ASU) have jointly developed two template Individual Flexibility Agreements (IFAs) with 12-hour and 24-hour rostering arrangements for such situations in the residential out-of-home-care sector.  Template IFAs have been designed to temporarily vary the effect of SCHADS and contain detailed provisions.

Key Issues for schools

RI & PJP Schools

We released a Q&A guide for our RI & PJP schools looking at some of the key issues which they may be facing for term 2 as students move towards a return to face-to-face teaching.

Important Changes to Schools (General Staff Award)

Those members with staff covered by the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010 were advised that the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) had temporarily varied the Award to provide employers and employees with greater scope to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes, that took effect on 24 April are intended to facilitate keeping employees in work where an employer is experiencing a significant downturn in operations.

Awards Varied to Provide Unpaid Pandemic Leave and Annual Leave at Half Pay

The Fair Work Commission has varied 99 modern awards to provide an entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and the ability to take annual leave at half pay.  These provisions will provide additional workplace flexibility to respond to issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The variations operate from 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Signing Contracts During Covid-19

We provided advice to our members on the signing of contracts and documents when workplaces are not in offices or working remotely. This included how an agreement can be in electronic form and executed electronically and the three standard criteria that need to be satisfied to ensure the validity of an electronic signature under the Electronic Transaction Act 2000 (NSW).

For further information and for relevant templates and documents, be sure to follow CCER’s ongoing updates on the impacts of covid-19 in our workplaces.

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