Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

We're here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you have a question about workplace entitlements, you've come to the right website. We work with employees, employers and the community to educate and encourage compliance with Australia's workplace laws.

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Updated website design

We’re updating the design of coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au. You’ll notice our refreshed look soon. None of the information and resources on this site will be affected.

Do you need information about workplace rights and obligations during coronavirus in your own language? While we’re working on expanding our in-language services, use our website translator to read essential information about workplace laws during coronavirus in your language.

We encourage employees and employers to work together to find the most beneficial and workable solutions that suit their individual workplaces and circumstances. Working together, there are various options to help business and employment continuity through this time.

Continuity of business is a significant issue for employers and their employees during this unprecedented and difficult time. Our interactive graphic below outlines the options available to businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the implications for employees.

Click on each section below for information and links to information and advice about rights and responsibilities at work during coronavirus.

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

Businesses and people affected by the coronavirus outbreak may also be eligible for government financial support. Visit our Government information about coronavirus page for links to government agencies and services across Australia who can provide assistance with health advice, payments and services, business support, travel advice, tax and superannuation, and others.

JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces.

For information about the changes and how they apply, go to JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

We will continue to update our information and encourage you to check our website regularly for updates. You can also sign up for email updates and we’ll email you when more information is available.

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility in awards

On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations varying 99 awards to provide unpaid pandemic leave and greater flexibility for annual leave for employees in many awards. Read more at Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards.

Health & safety in the workplace

Arranging flexible work

Using paid leave

Using unpaid leave

Standing down employees & business closures

Ending employment

Business bankruptcy & insolvency

Contact information

News and updates

27 May 2020

Updated:

22 May 2020

Added:

Updated:

  • We added examples to our Leave & the JobKeeper scheme page to illustrate:
    • interaction of leave periods with JobKeeper stand down directions
    • accrual of leave during a JobKeeper stand down.
  • We added examples to our Pay & the JobKeeper scheme page to illustrate:
    • requests for secondary employment
    • how directions and JobKeeper payments affect other minimum entitlements
    • public holiday pay.

20 May 2020

Added:

  • We’ve added a new page Resolving workplace issues during coronavirus. It has links to resources to help you with resolving workplace issues, explains how to ask for help, and has information about disputes and enforcement relating to the JobKeeper scheme.
  • We’ve added our website translator to this website. You can now use the translator to read some pages in your language, including our JobKeeper wage subsidy section. More pages on this website will be available to translate soon.

19 May 2020

Added:

  • We’ve added templates to our JobKeeper enabling stand down directions page and Stand down during coronavirus page that employers can use if they need to stand down employees. They include:
    • a letter to notify an employee of a JobKeeper enabling stand down
    • a template to issue an employee with a JobKeeper enabling stand down
    • a template to issue a stand down for employers not accessing the JobKeeper scheme.

13 May 2020

Updated:

12 May 2020

Added:

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.