Schedule J of the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020 (HIGA)
Schedule J of the HIGA expired on 27 September.
The QHA’s national body, the AHA, had been in discussion with United Workers Union, the major union for the hospitality industry, about extending Schedule J past 28 September through a consent application to the Fair Work Commission (‘FWC’).
Unfortunately, the AHA has not been able to reach a consent position with the Union on extending Schedule J’s operation and it has now expired.
For those members who have utilised the flexibilities offered by Schedule J, those flexibilities, such as reducing hours of work, have now ceased. From 28 September, usual conditions of employment must resume, meaning employers need to provide full-time and part-time employees with their full, pre-COVID-19 hours of work and resulting entitlements.
If you have insufficient ordinary hours to offer an employee, then unless an alternative arrangement is agreed, the employee needs to be paid wages based on their ordinary hours.
Importantly, Schedule J did not apply to employees that were eligible for JobKeeper. The expiry of Schedule J does not affect the ability of an employer to issue or not issue directions to employees in accordance with the JobKeeper provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.
Schedule X of the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
The FWC has extended the operation of Schedule X in the HIGA until 29 March 2021.
Schedule X was first inserted into the HIGA and many other modern awards in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides for two weeks of unpaid pandemic leave for an employee who:
- Was required by government, or medical authorities, or on the advice of a medical practitioner, to self-isolate, and as a result was unable to work, or;
- Was otherwise prevented from working by measures taken by government or medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schedule X might be utilised in a situation where an employee is required to self-isolate because of a COVID-19 test or because the government has locked down particular suburbs or areas that been designated recognised COVID-19 hot spots, preventing employees from attending work.
An employee taking unpaid pandemic leave as per Schedule X is recognised as having the benefit to workplace right, as per the general protection’s sections of the Fair Work Act 2009.
QHA INFORMATION - END OF JOBKEEPER 1.0 – START OF JOBKEEPER 2.0
The original JobKeeper Payment scheme ended on 27 September 2020 and the JobKeeper extension (“JobKeeper 2.0”) commenced on 28 September 2020. The JobKeeper payment rules were amended to reflect JobKeeper 2.0. The ATO has information available HERE regarding how to calculate whether the higher or lower JobKeeper rate should apply and information on alternative tests.
The QHA has developed several fact sheets and templates to explain the changes to members and assist them in communicating with or issuing directions to their employees.
- JOBKEEPER 2.0 Q&A INFORMATION GUIDE – Click HERE
- JOBKEEPER TEMPLATE MEMOS –
- JOBKEEPER 2.0 DIRECTIONS – TEMPLATE DOCUMENTS Click HERE for PDF and click HERE for the WORD version
Financial QHA members seeking further advice or assistance should contact the Employment Relations team by calling 07 3221 6999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.