Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

We’re here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the impact of coronavirus.

We encourage employees and employers to work together to find solutions that suit their individual workplaces and circumstances.

Click the links below for more information about your rights and responsibilities.

Check our News and updates section to see what's been updated recently.

Returning to work & the workplace

Pay & leave during coronavirus

JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme

Temporary changes to workplace laws

Health & safety in the workplace

Alternative working arrangements

Stand downs

Ending employment & redundancy

Other government information & assistance

Contact information

News and updates

6 July 2020

NSW and VIC border closure

From midnight on Tuesday 7 July 2020, the border between New South Wales and Victoria will be closed in response to the spread of coronavirus. While this closure is in place, a number of residents of NSW and Victoria may not be able to attend work as usual.

Please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website external-icon.png, or the NSW Government COVID-19 website external-icon.png for information about border closures, how it operates and who it affects.

Find information about workplace rights and responsibilities:

4 July 2020

New restrictions in Victoria

On Saturday 4 July 2020, the Victorian Government announced further restrictions at nine specific addresses within Flemington and North Melbourne in Victoria in response to the spread of coronavirus. While these restrictions are in place, affected employers and employees cannot leave home to attend work. They can only leave home with permission in very limited circumstances or in an emergency.

See the Victorian Government's Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website external-icon.png for more information about these restrictions and where they apply.

Find information about workplace rights and responsibilities:

3 July 2020

Extension of unpaid pandemic leave

The Fair Work Commission has extended unpaid pandemic leave in many awards. There are different end dates for Schedule X (which has the unpaid pandemic leave provisions) in each award.

Go to Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards for more information.

1 July 2020 

Extension of temporary award flexibility for Clerks Award

The Fair Work Commission has extended and changed Schedule I in the Clerks Award.

The new Schedule I now applies until 30 September 2020. Go to Clerks Award flexibility during coronavirus for more information.

Annual Wage Review 2020

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages following its 2020 Annual Wage Review.

The increase applies to awards in 3 stages, with the first group starting from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020. This group includes frontline health care and social assistance workers, teachers and child care employees, other essential services and the National Minimum Wage.

You can find the new rates for the first group of awards in our Pay and Conditions Tool and Pay Guides. If you’re using the calculator, just set the date to 1 July 2020 or after.

Find out more and check which group your award is in: The Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages.

30 June 2020

Extension of some temporary award flexibility provisions

The Fair Work Commission has extended temporary award flexibility provisions in some awards that were due to end on 30 June 2020.

The affected awards are:

  • Hospitality Award – Schedule J now applies until 27 September 2020 and there have been some changes to the provisions
  • Restaurant Award – Schedule I now applies until 27 September 2020 and there have been some changes to the provisions
  • Vehicle Award – Schedule I now applies until 31 July 2020 and there have been some changes to the provisions.

These awards were temporarily varied by the Fair Work Commission to add award flexibility because of the impacts of coronavirus.

For more information about the changes, go to

25 June 2020

Updated:

22 June 2020

Added:

19 June 2020

Annual Wage Review 2020

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all award wages.

Increases to award wages start on 3 different dates for different groups of awards. Find out more at The Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages.

Updated:

Previous news and updates

To view a list of previous updates to our website, go to our Previous news and updates page.

About our information

We'll continue to update the information on our website as the situation develops and as needed. The information provided is current as at the time of the last update. It is not legal advice but represents the views of the Fair Work Ombudsman based on the best available information. We encourage you to regularly check this page for more information.