Changes to workplace laws during coronavirus

Published 30 March 2020 | Updated 30 June 2021

There have been a number of temporary changes to workplace laws due to the impact of coronavirus on workplaces.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, some unions and employer associations applied to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) to increase award flexibility in some awards. As a result, the Commission has over time varied some provisions in those awards to give employers and employees extra flexibility to agree on alternative working arrangements.

Some temporary changes stopped applying in 2020 while others may continue to apply in 2021.

Learn what temporary changes apply now and access historical information on award changes that no longer apply.

Temporary award changes that apply now

Below is a list of temporary award variations that apply now:

Live Performance Award

On 12 March 2021, the Fair Work Commission made a determination varying the Live Performance Award. The determination inserts a temporary subclause into the award that changes notice payments for employees when there's a failure to produce or present productions due to coronavirus.

Under the new subclause (iii), employees are entitled to 2 weeks payment if they are engaged in a production that can't be produced or presented due to a COVID-19-related closure or a government directive. Payment is at the applicable minimum weekly rate for their classification.

This change to the award applies from 12 March 2021 until 12 March 2022.

For more information, see the Commission's decision external-icon.png and final determination external-icon.png varying the Live Performance Award.

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Temporary award changes that no longer apply

Below is a list of temporary award variations that no longer apply:

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JobKeeper scheme

The JobKeeper scheme finished from 29 March 2021. Find out what applies after the end of JobKeeper, including for workplace provisions and rules for pay, at Former JobKeeper scheme.

Information about the rules that applied during the JobKeeper scheme will continue to be available. This means you can continue accessing this information for historical and other purposes:

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Variations to enterprise agreements

Some parties to enterprise agreements are also considering varying their agreements to enable extra flexibility to help address the impact of coronavirus. For more information and updates, visit the Fair Work Commission website – COVID-19 and enterprise agreements external-icon.png.

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