Further Extension of Schedule I under the Clerks ā€“ Private Sector Award 2020

On 13 November, the Fair Work Commission again extended the operation of Schedule I in the Clerks Private Sector Award until 29 March 2021

Schedule I contains various provisions aimed at preserving business viability during the COVID-19 pandemic. For administrative employees covered by this Award, subject to meeting all of the requirements in Schedule I, these provisions allow employers to: 

1. Change the ordinary hours of work for employees working from home; 

Where employees are working from home by agreement, the ordinary hours can be worked between 6.00 am to 10.00 pm from Monday to Friday and between 7.00 am and 12.30 pm on Saturday.

It should also be noted that these changes only apply to day workers; the ordinary working hours for shift workers is unaffected by the above.

2. Agree with employees to a temporary reduction in ordinary hours; and 

An employer, along with its full-time and part-time employees in a workplace or section, can agree to temporarily reduce the ordinary hours of work for these employees. Subject to meeting requirements for a valid vote, this reduction in ordinary working hours can be brought about if 75% of the full-time and part-time employees agree to this temporary reduction. 

Notably, this provision only applies to employers who before 30 June 2020 had temporarily reduced ordinary hours under Schedule I.

3. Request employees to take annual leave

Providing the request is made for reasons relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic slowdown, and subject to an employee’s personal circumstances, an employee can be requested to take annual leave. An employee is obliged to consider and not unreasonably refuse this request by the employer.

However, this request can only be made if it does not cause the employee to have less than 2 weeks of annual leave remaining.

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For more information on Award entitlements, call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email necalegalwa@ecawa.org.au