Important changes to the Clerks ā€“ Private Sector Award

In a special Saturday telephone hearing the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission granted a Covid19 virus-driven variation to the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 that provides more flexibility to work at home, take leave and reduce hours.

The IR Minister Christian Porter, who intervened in the case, said that he "strongly endorses" the proposed variation to the Award and the Full Bench concluded that: "The measures encompassed in the variation strike an appropriate balance between the provision of additional flexibility and treating affected employees fairly."

Here is a brief summary of the changes:

  • Part-time and casual employees are entitled to a minimum shift of 2 consecutive hours.
  • Employees to perform all duties within their skill and competency.
  • The spread of ordinary hours is 6am to 11pm Mon-Fri and 7am-12:30pm Saturday for employees working from home by agreement.
  • Both parties may agree to work at a reduced temporary full time equivalent if 75% or more employees agree to reduce hours on a temporary arrangement. Ordinary hours may be reduced to 75% of the employee’s ordinary hours prior to the reduction.
  • An employer and individual employee may agree in writing to reduce hours or move temporarily from full-time to part-time.
  • Employer to accept reasonable requests for secondary employment.
  • Employer to consider all reasonable employee requests for training and development.
  • Parties can agree whereby employees take up twice as much annual leave at a proportionately reduced rate.
  • Employer may direct clerical staff to take annual leave with one week’s notice but it must not result in an employee having less than 2 weeks annual leave remaining.
  • Employer may close-down operations by giving 1 weeks’ notice and employees to be allowed to use accrued leave or if insufficient, unpaid leave. 

The determination came into operation on 28 March 2020 and operates until 30 June 2020.

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For more information on employers’ obligations, call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email necalegalwa@necawa.asn.au.