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

10 July 2020

Restrictions in Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced changed restrictions in response to the spread of coronavirus in Victoria. These new restrictions are now in place across certain parts of Victoria, and in some situations they replace previous restrictions issued for the state (including stay at home orders for some specific addresses within Flemington and North Melbourne).

See the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services restriction levels page external-icon.png for up to date information about current restrictions, including where and how they operate.

If your work or workplace is affected by these restrictions, you can find information about your workplace rights and responsibilities:

Border closures and restrictions

Due to the spread of coronavirus some state and territory borders have closures and restrictions in place for residents of Victoria. While these closures are in place, workers may not be able to attend work as usual.

For more information on border crossing closures and restrictions, check information for your state and territory through the Australia.gov.au website external-icon.png.

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

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.