Previous news and updates

Published 20 April 2020 | Updated 1 December 2021

Find previous news and website updates relating to our information on coronavirus below.

You can find the latest updates to our information on our homepage.

November 2021

23 November 2021

Return to work checklist for small businesses

Our new ‘Return to work checklist’ helps small business employers make sure they’ve got key issues covered when bringing employees back to the workplace.

Our easy-to-use checklist helps small business employers:

  • check the COVID-19 restrictions or public health orders that apply
  • find guidance on how best to talk with employees
  • change employees’ working arrangements if needed.

Access the checklist now at Tools and resources during coronavirus.

18 November 2021

Top COVID-19 questions

Our new Top COVID-19 questions page covers some common questions we’re asked about COVID-19. It includes vaccination issues like:

  • A public health order says I have to get vaccinated to attend my workplace. What happens if I don’t want to get vaccinated?
  • There is no public health order that applies to the business. Can vaccination be mandated?
  • Can employees be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status?

We regularly review and update this page to make sure it covers the key issues you’re contacting us about to help you save time.

Rapid antigen testing information for employers

Rapid antigen testing is a type of COVID-19 test used in Australia. Some employers have started implementing rapid antigen testing in their workplace.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has information to help businesses understand how to implement COVID-19 rapid antigen testing in the workplace. Learn more at TGA – COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests – Guidance and checklist for businesses external-icon.png.

Business.gov.au also has guidance for employers on rights and responsibilities when using rapid antigen tests. Go to Business.gov.au – COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for business owners external-icon.png.

You can learn about general workplace rights and responsibilities for COVID-19 testing at COVID-19 tests.

12 November 2021

Returning to the workplace – interactive employer tool

We've updated our Returning to the workplace – interactive employer tool to help employers get their businesses back up and running again.

The tool gives tailored information to employers on scaling up operations as restrictions ease. We’ve updated it to include:

  • guidance on managing COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace
  • advice on how to best communicate and consult with staff
  • information on other business support services, such mental health support.

Use the Returning to the workplace – interactive employer tool now.

1 November 2021

Annual Wage Review – 1 November 2021 changes

From 1 November 2021, minimum wages in 21 awards increased. Updated minimum rates are now available in our pay tools. See our Annual Wage Review 2021 page for more information.

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October 2021

21 October 2021

Vaccination requirements for more workers in Western Australia

The Western Australian (WA) Government has announced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the majority of occupations and workforces in WA. The requirements affect workers in occupations deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of business and function of the community.

The requirements will be introduced in phases. Learn more at WA Government – Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for WA workforces external-icon.png.

FIFO and other resource workers

The WA Government has also announced vaccination requirements for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and other resource sector workers from December 2021. Read more at WA Government – COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for FIFO and other resources sector workers external-icon.png.

We’ll update our COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders page once the WA Government issues public health orders reflecting these new requirements for WA workers.

15 October 2021

Updated returning to work guidance

We’ve updated our information to help employers and employees plan their return to the workplace as restrictions start to ease. You’ll find information about:

  • lifting stand downs
  • alternative work arrangements
  • issuing directions to return
  • refusals to return to work.

Go to our Returning to work and the workplace section now.

Coronavirus restrictions for Southern Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government has introduced temporary restrictions for Southern Tasmania to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These new restrictions may mean some workplaces need to close. Learn the new rules that apply at Tasmania Government – Southern Tasmania Lockdown external-icon.png.

If your workplace is affected, find information on workplace rights and obligations at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

5 October 2021

New fairwork.gov.au website coming soon

We will soon be launching our new website with an updated design and some changes to the way information is organised. Find out more about the upcoming changes and how they’ll help you at New website coming soon.

1 October 2021

COVID-19 vaccination requirements for authorised workers in Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced its intention to make COVID-19 vaccination requirements for authorised workers in Victoria who can’t work from home.

Authorised workers are required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by 15 October 2021 in order to continue working onsite, and their second dose by 26 November 2021. This applies to authorised workers in both Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The Victorian Government has information about who is considered an authorised worker at Victorian Government – Authorised provider and authorised worker list external-icon.png.

Find out more about the announcement at Premier of Victoria – Vaccination required to protect workers and Victoria external-icon.png.

We (Fair Work Ombudsman) can give you general information about coronavirus and Australian workplace laws under the Fair Work Act. This includes guidance about COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace.

For questions about who is an authorised worker and whether the new requirements apply to you, contact the Victorian Government – Coronavirus Hotline external-icon.png.

Expanded information on resolving vaccination workplace issues

We have updated our existing COVID-19 vaccinations: resolving workplace issues page to include:

  • steps you can take to resolve vaccination workplace issues
  • what to expect when you contact us for help
  • what vaccination issues we can help with
  • where to go if we can’t help.

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September 2021

21 September 2021

Closure of construction in metropolitan Melbourne

On 20 September 2021, the Victorian Government announced construction will shut down in metropolitan Melbourne and other affected areas currently in lockdown for 2 weeks from 11.59pm, Monday 20 September. Learn more at Victorian Government – Construction sector guidance external-icon.png.

If you work in the construction industry, find information on your workplace rights and obligations:

Stand downs

Employers may be able to stand employees down without pay during a sudden workplace closure that is outside the employer’s control. Find out more at Stand downs.

Payment during an enforceable government direction

An employer doesn’t have to pay an employee when they can’t work because of an enforceable government direction, unless the employee takes paid leave. Go to Enforceable government directions.

You can find out about government financial support during a workplace lockdown at Financial support.

Help from the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is the government body that provides information and assistance on workplace laws and entitlements for the construction industry. Get help from the ABCC at:

20 September 2021

COVID-19 vaccination public health order information

We’ve added a new page with information about public health orders and COVID-19 vaccination requirements at COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders.

You’ll find all relevant state and territory public health orders for COVID-19 vaccinations in one spot. We update this page regularly.

Vaccination requirements for Victorian construction workers

The Victorian Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for construction site workers. Find out about these requirements at Victorian Government – Information for construction workers external-icon.png.

Learn more about general COVID-19 vaccination workplace rights and responsibilities at COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations.

17 September 2021

Reminder: Changes to casual employment laws

By 27 September 2021, employers (other than small businesses) need to assess whether their existing casuals are eligible to be offered permanent employment.

For more information, visit Becoming a permanent employee.

10 September 2021

Expanded COVID-19 tests and vaccination information

We’ve expanded our information covering:

7 September 2021

New COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme

The Australian Government is developing a claims scheme to compensate eligible people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information about the proposed scheme and to register your interest, go to Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme external-icon.png.

6 September 2021

Loaded rates added to Hospitality Award

The Fair Work Commission has added 2 new schedules to the Hospitality Award allowing some full-time employees to access loaded rates. The new schedules apply on or after the first pay period commencing 3 September 2021.

Learn about the changes at Loaded rates added to Hospitality Award.

1 September 2021

Retail Award wage increase

From 1 September 2021, minimum wages in the Retail Award are increasing. Updated minimum rates are now available in our pay tools. See our Annual Wage Review 2021 page for more information.

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August 2021

24 August 2021

Payment support for child care providers during COVID-19 lockdown

The Australian Government has announced payment support for child care providers impacted by extended COVID-19 lockdowns.

The new payments will be contingent on child care providers meeting certain eligibility criteria. This includes providers maintaining staffing levels. 

Learn more at Prime Minister of Australia - Targeted assistance for child care services during COVID lockdown external-icon.png.

20 August 2021

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for some residential aged care workers

Some states and territories have started introducing public health orders mandating COVID-19 vaccination for some residential aged care workers. 

Most of the new public health orders require affected workers to receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination before a set date. The states and territories with new orders include:

  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland 
  • South Australia 
  • Tasmania 
  • Western Australia.

Access our updated information and the public health orders at COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and entitlements – Can an employer require an employee to be vaccinated?.

Update on restrictions in Greater Sydney and NSW

The NSW Government has announced new COVID-19 restrictions, including:

  • an extension of the current lockdown in Greater Sydney until the end of September 2021
  • additional restrictions for both local government areas of concern and Greater Sydney.

These restrictions affect the operation of some workplaces.

Learn more about the new measures at NSW Government – COVID-19 rules external-icon.png.

Mandatory vaccination for childcare and disability care workers

The NSW Government has also announced that childcare and disability support workers who live or work in local government areas of concern must have their first COVID-19 vaccination dose by 30 August 2021.

Find out more: NSW Department of Health – New protections and compliance rules to carry NSW through vaccination targets external-icon.png.

17 August 2021

New restrictions introduced to Greater Melbourne

The Victorian Government has announced additional restrictions for Greater Melbourne to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions may affect the operation of some workplaces.

The new restrictions include:

  • requirements for authorised workers to carry permits when working and travelling for work
  • additional restrictions in the construction industry.

Lockdown restrictions in Victoria have been extended until 11.59pm 2 September 2021.

Workers can access and download permits from Victorian Government – Permits for authorised workers external-icon.png.

Learn more at Premier of Victoria – Extended Melbourne Lockdown to Keep Victorians Safe external-icon.png.

NSW COVID-19 Test and Isolate support payment

The NSW Government has introduced the COVID-19 Test and Isolate support payment to help some workers self-isolate during coronavirus. The payment is available to eligible workers if they have to self-isolate and can't work while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Learn more about the payment and apply at NSW Government - COVID-19 Test and Isolate support payment external-icon.png.

12 August 2021

Our guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace

We’ve updated our guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations. This includes information on topics including:

  • managing vaccinations in the workplace
  • requiring employees to be vaccinated
  • refusing directions to be vaccinated
  • providing evidence of vaccination.

You can access our updated workplace guidance at COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations.

For other government information, visit COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace.

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility inserted in Plumbing Award

The Fair Work Commission has inserted unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility in the Plumbing Award to apply from 11 August 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Eligible employees covered by this award can access 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility.

Learn more about the leave entitlement and read our updated information at Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards.

11 August 2021

Temporary workplace flexibility in Restaurant Award

From 11 August 2021, there are new temporary flexibility provisions in the Restaurant Award. These are:

  • simplified classifications for employees working under the Restaurant Award
  • entitlements to exemption rates and an all-purpose allowance.

Get more information about the new provisions and rules to who it applies at Temporary workplace flexibility in Restaurant Award.

6 August 2021

National Cabinet announcement: Vaccination in the workplace

On 6 August 2021, the National Cabinet met and discussed the issue of employers seeking to mandate that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As part of the announcement, the Prime Minister explained that official government advice has said that there may be situations where it is reasonable for employers to require an employee to be vaccinated. This advice included considering issues such as the reasonableness of any employer direction and the application of anti-discrimination laws.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that ultimately employers need to consider these issues and make their own decisions appropriate to their workplace.

We are currently reviewing our information on this website and will have updated guidance on this issue soon. Check this section regularly for updates.

Find out more at Prime Minister of Australia – Press conference: 6 August 2021 external-icon.png.

2 August 2021

Extension of COVID-19 restrictions in South-East Queensland

The Queensland Government has today announced the extension of lockdown restrictions for South-East Queensland local government areas to help stop the spread of coronavirus. These restrictions will now apply until 4:00pm Sunday 8 August 2021.

If your workplace is affected, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

Find information on the restrictions in place in Queensland at Queensland Government – Restrictions for Queensland external-icon.png.

Financial support for businesses

The Queensland Government has announced financial support for eligible businesses affected by lockdown restrictions. Learn more at Queensland Government – Lockdown support for Queensland businesses external-icon.png.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment for workers

Workers affected by restrictions in Queensland may qualify for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. To find out more, go to Services Australia – COVID-19 Disaster Payment external-icon.png.

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July 2021

30 July 2021

Extension of coronavirus restrictions in NSW

The NSW Government has extended stay-at-home restrictions in Greater Sydney and surrounds to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The restrictions apply to Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour. The extension of these restrictions includes some changes to rules and will apply until 12:01am on 28 August 2021.

Learn about the extension of restrictions and what applies now at NSW Government – 28 July 2021: Certainty for the community as restrictions adjusted and vaccines ramped up external-icon.png.

If your workplace is affected, find information on workplace rights and obligations at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

28 July 2021

Financial help for NSW workers and businesses

On 28 July 2021, the NSW and Australian Governments announced changes to financial support for NSW workers and businesses affected by the current lockdown. This includes:

COVID-19 JobSaver Payment

There have been changes to the COVID-19 JobSaver Payment so that more businesses can access the payment.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 JobSaver Payment, businesses have to maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021. This means not taking active steps to end the employment relationship with:

  • permanent (full-time or part-time), and
  • casual staff that have been employed by the business for more than 12 months.

Businesses will remain eligible if their employee headcount declines for reasons outside of their control. Find more information in the COVID-19 JobSaver payment – Guidelines external-icon.png.

To check if you’re eligible and to apply, go to Service NSW – Apply for the JobSaver payment external-icon.png.

You can also read about increased business support for NSW at Prime Minister of Australia – NSW Business Support Package Expansion external-icon.png. Read about other financial assistance available at Service NSW – Grants, loans and financial assistance external-icon.png.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

There are also payment increases for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for eligible workers. Learn more about the payment and apply at Services Australia – COVID-19 Disaster Payment external-icon.png.

Other payments from Services Australia

Individuals in NSW on welfare payments may also be eligible for an additional payment from the Australian Government if they have lost a certain number of hours of work. Learn about financial help for those already receiving payments at Services Australia – Getting help during coronavirus (COVID-19) external-icon.png.

Financial help for Victorian businesses

On 28 July 2021, the Australian and Victorian Governments announced additional support for Victorian businesses affected by the state’s recent lockdown.

Find out more about the increase in business support for Victorian businesses at Prime Minister of Australia – Victorian Business Support Package external-icon.png.

If your business has been affected by Victoria’s lockdown restrictions, learn about what financial support is available at Business Victoria – COVID-19 business information external-icon.png.

20 July 2021

Coronavirus restrictions across Australia

Temporary COVID-19 restrictions now apply in some major Australian cities and regions. Find out what restrictions apply for your state or territory at:

If your workplace has been affected by coronavirus restrictions, see When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

Keep up to date on the latest coronavirus news and updates for Australia at Australia.gov.au external-icon.png.

Construction industry restrictions in some states

Some Australian states have introduced restrictions for the construction industry to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This may mean sudden worksite closures. States with these restrictions include:

Check any restrictions on construction applying in your state or territory from Australia.gov.au – State and territory information external-icon.png.

If you work in the construction industry, find information on your workplace rights and obligations:

Stand downs

Employers may be able to stand employees down without pay during a sudden workplace closure that is outside the employer’s control. Find out more at Stand downs.

Payment during an enforceable government direction

An employer doesn’t have to pay an employee when they can’t work because of an enforceable government direction, unless the employee takes paid leave. Go to Enforceable government directions.

Help from the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is the government body that provides information and assistance on workplace laws and entitlements for the construction industry. Learn about your rights and obligations and access help at ABCC – COVID-19 Assistance external-icon.png .

15 July 2021

Coronavirus restrictions for Victoria

The Victorian Government has reintroduced temporary restrictions in Victoria to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These restrictions apply to all of Victoria and include:

  • the closure of some workplaces
  • not leaving home to go to work unless it is ‘authorised work’.

These new restrictions are due to start from 11:59pm on Thursday 15 July 2021 and end from 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 July 2021. Learn the new rules that apply at Premier of Victoria – Statement from the Premier - 15 July 2021 external-icon.png.

If your workplace is affected, find information on workplace rights and obligations at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

14 July 2021

Financial support for NSW workers and workplaces

Workers

The Australian Government has announced some changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment available from Services Australia. This includes a planned increase to the different payment amounts available.

Learn more about the changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and apply now at Services Australia – COVID-19 Disaster Payment external-icon.png.

Businesses

The NSW Government has today announced new COVID-19 business support payments to help businesses affected by current COVID-19 restrictions in NSW. The payment is available from Service NSW.

Payment amounts vary and eligibility criteria applies. Grants can be used for business expenses such as rent, utilities and wages, for which no other government support is available. To receive the payment, eligible businesses need to maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.

Learn more about the new grant at Service NSW – COVID-19 business support grants external-icon.png. For additional information, read the Prime Minister’s media release external-icon.png.

Mental health support

Extra support has also been announced by the Australian Government for mental health services for those living in NSW.

If you’ve been affected by the NSW lockdown, find out how you can access free and confidential support at Mental health support.

14 July 2021

COVID-19 testing for some essential workers in Greater Sydney

As a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Greater Sydney, some essential workers are required to have been recently tested for COVID-19 before entering work premises in certain areas.

This enforceable government direction started on 14 July 2021 (with slight time extensions for workers to comply if they’ve taken reasonable steps to be tested). Learn more about these testing obligations at NSW Government – Testing requirements for Fairfield Local Government Area and Greater Sydney external-icon.png.

For these new requirements in NSW, find out what workplace rights and obligations apply at Quarantine and self-isolation: pay and leave options.

8 July 2021

New South Wales restrictions extended until Friday 16 July

The NSW Government has announced an extension of restrictions in Greater Sydney and regional NSW until 11.59pm on Friday 16 July to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

If your workplace has been affected by coronavirus restrictions, or if you or your employees are affected by changes to school learning arrangements, visit When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

For more information about these restrictions, go to NSW Government – COVID-19 external-icon.png.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is an Australian Government payment to eligible workers during lockdown restrictions that last longer than 1 week.

The payment is available for eligible workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement.

Learn more about the payment and eligibility, and apply now, at Services Australia – COVID-19 Disaster Payment external-icon.png.

1 July 2021

Annual Wage Review 

The 2.5% increase to the national minimum wage and minimum rates in most awards, as well as updates to superannuation and changes to some terms and conditions in several awards, starts from 1 July 2021. See our Annual Wage Review 2021 page for more information.

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June 2021

29 June 2021

NSW public health order for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has issued a public health order preventing workers specified in the NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program from entering the workplace or providing services if they haven’t received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This part of the order commenced from midday on 28 June 2021.

For more information, see Legislation and public health orders requiring vaccination against coronavirus.

Access the NSW public health order at NSW Government – COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine Order external-icon.png.

National Cabinet announcement: Mandatory vaccination for aged care workers

On 28 June 2021, the National Cabinet agreed to mandate that all residential aged care workers must have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-September 2021.

We’ll continue to monitor for any new public health orders affecting residential aged care workers and update our information accordingly.

Find out more at National Cabinet Statement (28 June 2021) external-icon.png.

28 June 2021

Coronavirus restrictions across Australia

Temporary COVID-19 restrictions now apply in some major Australian cities and regions. Find out what restrictions apply for your state or territory at:

If your workplace has been affected by coronavirus restrictions, see When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

Keep up to date on the latest coronavirus news and updates for Australia at Australia.gov.au external-icon.png.

16 June 2021

Annual Wage Review 2021

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 2.5% increase to minimum wages. See our Annual Wage Review 2021 page for more information.

10 June 2021

Easing of some coronavirus restrictions for Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced the easing of some coronavirus restrictions in Victoria, including the re-opening of schools and some workplaces.

These new rules start from 11:59pm on Thursday 10 June 2021. For more information about these new restrictions, go to Victorian Government – Statement From The Acting Premier external-icon.png.

If your workplace continues to be affected by coronavirus restrictions, get information at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

4 June 2021

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has announced the new COVID-19 Disaster Payment. Eligible Victorians can apply for the payment from Tuesday, 8 June 2021 via the Services Australia website.

The payment will be paid weekly to workers who live or work in a Commonwealth declared hotspot and who can’t work and earn an income because of state imposed restrictions that last for longer than 1 week.

Eligible workers will receive up to $500 a week for losing 20 or more hours of work. Eligible workers will receive up to $325 a week for losing under 20 hours of work.

Learn more about the payment and apply now at Services Australia – COVID-19 Disaster Payment external-icon.png.

2 June 2021

Coronavirus restrictions for Victoria

The Victorian Government has extended coronavirus restrictions in Victoria to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

For Melbourne, this includes the continued closure of some workplaces and not leaving home to go to work unless it is ‘authorised work’. For those in regional Victoria, different rules may apply.

These new restrictions are due to start from 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June 2021 and end from 11:59pm Thursday 10 June 2021. For more information about these new restrictions, go to Victorian Government – Statement From The Acting Premier external-icon.png.

If your workplace is affected, get information at When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown.

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May 2021

31 May 2021

Victorian Government – Business Support Package

The Victorian Government has announced its Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to provide financial assistance to small to medium businesses and sole traders.

The package is to provide financial support to eligible businesses that cannot operate because of coronavirus restrictions announced in May 2021.

If you’re an employer or sole trader, learn more and register at Victorian Government – Circuit Breaker Business Support Package external-icon.png.

25 May 2021

Information on COVID-19 tests and leave entitlements

We've published new information on quarantine and self-isolation workplace issues. This includes information:

For other pay and leave issues during coronavirus, go to Pay, leave and stand downs.

11 May 2021

WA public health direction for COVID-19 vaccination

The Western Australian (WA) Government has issued public health directions preventing quarantine centre workers from entering or remaining at a quarantine centre if they haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The directions came into effect from 10 May 2021.

The directions affect those working within WA’s hotel quarantine system including:

  • security personnel, cleaners and hotel staff
  • medical and health staff
  • ADF personnel and WA police.

You can access the public health directions at WA Government – Access to Quarantine Centres Directions external-icon.png

Read our updated information at COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace.

10 May 2021

New COVID-19 vaccinations workplace information

We've added new information on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. New issues covered include:

  • using sick leave for COVID-19 vaccinations
  • travel costs and taking time off work for vaccination appointments
  • consultation requirements for workplace policies and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Go to COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations to read our new FAQs.

We'll continue to update our information and you're encouraged to check back regularly for updates.

The Department of Health has comprehensive information on COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout plans for the Australian community. See Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccines external-icon.png

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April 2021

29 April 2021

‘COVID-19 – Next Steps for Your Business’ webinar

The ‘COVID-19 – Next Steps for Your Business’ webinar is livestreaming Wednesday 5 May, at 5pm AEST.

Join us, the ATO, ACCC, ASIC and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to hear about how our agencies can help your business face the next phase of the pandemic.

Panellists include:

  • Our Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker
  • Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Small Business, Deborah Jenkins
  • ACCC Consumer Rights Deputy Chair, Mick Keogh
  • ASIC Connect Commissioner, Danielle Press
  • Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson.

Register for the free event at Federal Regulatory Agency Group - Multi-agency Live Stream external-icon.png

27 April 2021

End of lockdown for Perth and Peel areas in Western Australia

The Western Australian Government has eased some coronavirus restrictions for the Perth and Peel areas. This is after a temporary snap lockdown was introduced in April 2021 to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Read what the new rules are for affected areas at COVID-19 coronavirus – WA Government external-icon.png. This includes some ongoing restrictions for workplaces.

Our Managing the return to work and the workplace page has information on lifting stand downs, alternative work arrangements and workplace health and safety.

You can also visit When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown to find out what entitlements and obligations apply during a sudden lockdown.

23 April 2021

Coronavirus restrictions for Perth and Peel in Western Australia

The Western Australian Government has announced temporary restrictions for Perth and Peel to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

If your workplace is affected, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations. We have information on:

  • stand downs
  • working from home
  • changes in working hours and duties
  • taking care of a child
  • border closures: pay and leave.

Visit When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown for more information.

9 April 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace

We've expanded our information on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. Access our updated pages:

We've also added information on public health orders requiring COVID-19 vaccinations, including for workers in Queensland affected by the Queensland Government's recent public health direction.

We'll continue to update our information and you’re encouraged to check back regularly for updates.

The Department of Health has comprehensive information on COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout plans for the Australian community. See Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccines external-icon.png

8 April 2021

Queensland public health direction – COVID-19 vaccination

On 31 March 2021, the Queensland Government issued a public health direction requiring COVID-19 vaccination for some workers. The direction affects:

  • health service employees
  • Queensland Ambulance Service employees
  • hospital and health service contractors.

For more information, visit Queensland Health’s website:

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March 2021

30 March 2021

Extension of unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility in some awards

The Fair Work Commission has extended unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility in some awards until 31 December 2021. It was previously due to end on 29 March 2021.

The extension applies to 9 health awards and 57 other awards. Eligible employees covered by these awards can continue to access 2 weeks' unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility.

See our updated information at Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes in awards.

29 March 2021

Coronavirus restrictions for Greater Brisbane

The Queensland Government has announced temporary restrictions for Greater Brisbane to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 5pm AEST on Monday 29 March 2021, Greater Brisbane will enter a 3-day lockdown. Schools will temporarily close from Tuesday 30 March 2021.

Wearing face masks in certain settings will also be mandatory for all of Queensland.

Keep updated on the restrictions and rules that apply at COVID-19 update – Queensland Government external-icon.png.

If your workplace has been affected, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations. We have information on:

  • stand downs
  • working from home
  • changes in working hours and duties
  • taking care of a child
  • border closures: pay and leave.

Go to When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown for more information.

25 March 2021

Improvements to our coronavirus website

We've made some improvements to our coronavirus website. This is to make sure our information continues to be relevant, accessible and useful to you.

The changes include:

We've also added visual messaging to our JobKeeper information to ensure you know when the JobKeeper provisions apply until.

We welcome your feedback – please share your thoughts via our Feedback form.

16 March 2021

Temporary JobKeeper provisions finishing

The JobKeeper scheme finishes on Sunday 28 March 2021. We have information for employers and employees on what applies after this date including on:

  • ending JobKeeper provisions, such as JobKeeper enabling directions
  • returning employees to usual pay and conditions
  • when employment ends
  • other government support available.

Our information will apply to all participants of the JobKeeper scheme:

  • qualifying employers and their employees
  • legacy employers and their employees.

Read more at Temporary JobKeeper provisions finishing.

Temporary changes to the 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.

The changes apply from 12 March 2021 until 12 March 2022.

Go to Changes to workplace laws during coronavirus for more information.

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February 2021

19 February 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace

We have updated our COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace page to include answers to common questions about different workplace issues and COVID-19 vaccinations. You’ll find answers to various questions including:

  • Can an employer require an employee to be vaccinated?
  • What happens if an employee refuses to be vaccinated?
  • Can an employer take disciplinary action if an employee refuses to get vaccinated?

The Department of Health has comprehensive information on COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout plans for the Australian community. See Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccines external-icon.png.

Visit Safe Work Australia’s website external-icon.png for information on specific coronavirus work health and safety issues, including industry specific guidance.

We will continue to update our information and guidance, and you are encouraged to check back regularly for updates.

17 February 2021

Coronavirus restrictions in Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions across Victoria. These restrictions included the temporary closure of some workplaces.

If your workplace has been affected by the recent restrictions, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations at Information for Victorian workplaces.

Learn more about the rules that now apply for Victoria, including for workplaces, at Victorian Government Department of Health – Coronavirus external-icon.png.

1 February 2021 

Annual Wage Review 2020 – 1.75% increase for Group 3 Awards pay rates

From 1 February 2021, minimum wages in the retail, accommodation, food services and a range of other industries increase by 1.75%. Find the new rates in our Pay Calculator.

Find out more at The Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages.

Information for West Australian workplaces

We have information on your workplace rights and obligations if you’ve been affected by coronavirus restrictions in WA. Learn more at Information for West Australian workplaces.

Keep up to date on the coronavirus restrictions and rules that apply at WA Government – COVID-19 coronavirus external-icon.png

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January 2021

26 January 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations & the workplace

We've added new information about the interaction between COVID-19 vaccinations and workplace relations issues. Visit COVID-19 vaccinations & the workplace for more information.

JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme

The Australian Government has introduced the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme as an incentive for businesses to employ job seekers between the ages of 16 and 35 years.

The scheme is administered by the Australian Taxation Office and is available for eligible employers from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2022. Eligibility rules apply.

Go to JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme for more information about the scheme and how to apply.

11 January 2021

Coronavirus restrictions for Greater Brisbane

On 8 January 2021, the Queensland Government introduced temporary restrictions for Greater Brisbane to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These included the temporary closure of some workplaces.

Most of these restrictions ease from 6pm (AEST) Monday 11 January 2021, with new temporary measures in place for some workplaces.

If your workplace is affected by these measures, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations. We have information on:

Employers looking for advice on reopening a workplace after temporarily closing can use our Returning to the workplace – interactive employer tool.

Rules about wearing a face mask still apply for Greater Brisbane.

Keep updated on the restrictions and rules that apply at COVID-19 – Queensland external-icon.png.

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December 2020

21 December 2020

Coronavirus restrictions in New South Wales

The New South Wales Government has introduced temporary restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

If your business or workplace is affected by these restrictions, find out more about your workplace entitlements and obligations. We have information on:

Get more information at Information for NSW workplaces. Stay up to date on the coronavirus restrictions that apply at Health NSW – Covid-19 external-icon.png.

18 December 2020

Closure over Christmas and New Year period

Our office will be open with reduced staff over the Christmas and New Year period.

During this time, you’ll still have access to our online information and self-service tools to help you with any workplace questions you have.

Find out more at Our services over the Christmas and New Year period.

7 December 2020

Fair Work Ombudsman talks JobKeeper extension on ATO Tax InVoice Podcast

The Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker PSM has spoken with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on their Tax InVoice Podcast about the extension of the JobKeeper scheme.

The episode featuring Ms Parker offers a detailed look at the extension of the JobKeeper scheme, covering the extension of the JobKeeper provisions under the Fair Work Act and the creation of the legacy employer category.

Ms Parker explains how the Fair Work Ombudsman is working with the ATO to keep the JobKeeper scheme fair for everyone. The episode also covers where employers or employees can go for the right help when they need it.

Listen to the episode at ATO – TV external-icon.png.

4 December 2020

Temporary changes to Vehicle Award extended to 31 January 2021

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule I in the Vehicle Award. The Schedule provides increased flexibility to businesses covered by this award during coronavirus. 

Schedule I now applies until 31 January 2021. Read our updated information at Vehicle Award changes during coronavirus page.

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November 2020

25 November 2020

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy

The Australian Government has announced a Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy to support employers and Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employ new apprentices and trainees.

Learn more about the wage subsidy, employer eligibility and where to find our updated information at Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy.

19 November 2020

Temporary changes to Clerks Award extended again

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule I in the Clerks Award again. The temporary schedule provides increased workplace flexibility to employers and employees covered by this award during coronavirus. It now applies until 29 March 2021.

Read our updated information at Clerks Award flexibility during coronavirus.

Employee entitlements over Christmas and New Year break

Employees and employers looking for information on employee entitlements over the holiday period can learn more at Entitlements over the Christmas and New Year break. We cover off the rules and obligations that apply including:

  • directing employees to take leave
  • taking leave during a shut down (paid and unpaid)
  • public holidays entitlements and obligations
  • what applies under JobKeeper for the holiday period.

Find out more at Entitlements over the Christmas and New Year break

18 November 2020

Coronavirus restrictions in South Australia

The South Australian Government has introduced temporary restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus. These restrictions include the temporary closures of workplaces and schools.

If your workplace has been affected by these restrictions, find out your workplace entitlements and obligations. We have information on:

  • stand downs from work
  • taking leave (unpaid and paid)
  • quarantine and self-isolation pay and leave options
  • taking care of a child
  • alternative working arrangements.

Learn more at Information for South Australian workplaces.

Get more information and stay up to date on the coronavirus restrictions that apply at South Australian Government – COVID-19 external-icon.png .

6 November 2020

Returning to the workplace - a new interactive tool for employers

We've launched our Returning to the workplace - interactive employer tool to help employers get their businesses back up and running during coronavirus.

The tool gives tailored information to employers on returning to the workplace, scaling up operations and adapting to workplace changes. It can help to find the information you need when:

  • transitioning employees back to the workplace, including lifting a stand down
  • changing employees’ hours, duties or work location
  • introducing alternative working options for staff
  • keeping up to date with changes to workplace laws.

Use the Returning to the workplace - interactive employer tool now.

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October 2020

30 October 2020

Unpaid pandemic leave and award flexibility extended in Health Awards

The Fair Work Commission has extended unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay in 9 awards in the health sector.

These are provided by Schedule X in the awards. Leave taken under Schedule X now needs to start by 29 March 2021.

Schedule X applies in these awards until a further order is issued by the Fair Work Commission.

See our updated information on Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes in awards.

Paid pandemic leave extended for residential aged care employees

The Fair Work Commission has extended access to paid pandemic leave for residential aged care employees covered by the:

  • Aged Care Award
  • Nurses Award
  • Health Professionals Awards.

The entitlement now operates until 29 March 2021.

Go to Paid pandemic leave in some awards for more information.

29 October 2020

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment available to some Qld. and SA workers

The Australian Government has extended the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to include eligible workers who live in Queensland and South Australia.

People who live in Queensland and South Australia are now eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they can’t work because of reasons relating to coronavirus and meet other criteria.

For more information about the payment and how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia's website.

13 October 2020

Face masks in Victoria

The Victorian Government now requires all Victorians to wear a fitted face mask when they leave home (with limited exceptions). This includes in workplaces. Looser face coverings are no longer permitted, such as bandanas or scarves.

We’ve updated our Information for Victorian workplaces and our Protecting employees and customers during coronavirus pages as a result.

Learn more about face mask requirements in Victoria on the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services – Face masks external-icon.png page.

7 October 2020

Annual Wage Review 2020 – 1 November increase

Minimum wages in the next group of awards increase from 1 November. The Fair Work Commission has announced they will be issuing the updated Group 2 awards on 31 October 2020. Find out which awards are in Group 2 and how it affects you at The Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. You can subscribe to get email updates and we’ll let you know when the new minimum rates are available in our pay tools.

1 October 2020

Extension of unpaid pandemic leave in many awards

The Fair Work Commission has extended unpaid pandemic leave to 29 March 2021 in many awards.

Eligible employees covered by these awards can access 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility until 29 March 2021.

Go to Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards to see if your award is affected and to read our updated information.

Temporary changes to Vehicle Award and Clerks Award extended to 30 November 2020

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule I in the Vehicle Award and the Clerks Award. The Schedules provide increased flexibility to businesses covered by these awards during coronavirus and now apply until 30 November 2020. Read our updated information:

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September 2020

25 September 2020

Extension of the Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions

Qualifying employers

We’ve updated our information for qualifying employers about the extended JobKeeper scheme. These are employers that qualify for the JobKeeper scheme and receive payments for their eligible employees. Read our updated information at:

Legacy employers

We’ve added new information for legacy employers about pay, leave and ending employment. Find out more at Pay, leave and ending employment for legacy employers.

Tools and resources

We’ve updated our Tools and resources during coronavirus page with new and updated templates for qualifying and legacy employers.

23 September 2020

Fair Work Regulations amended as part of JobKeeper extension

On 19 September 2020, the Fair Work Regulations were amended to support certain parts of the extension of the JobKeeper scheme for legacy employers. The new Regulations relate to:

  • the relationship between the 10% decline in turnover test for legacy employers and the actual decline in turnover test for qualifying employers
  • how certain employees’ ordinary hours of work are calculated in order for legacy employers to issue a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction.

You can read our updated information at:

21 September 2020

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment available to some WA and NSW workers

The Australian Government has extended the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to include eligible workers who live in New South Wales and Western Australia.

People who live in New South Wales and Western Australia are now eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they can’t work because of reasons relating to coronavirus and meet other criteria.

For more information about the payment and how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia's website.

16 September 2020

Extension of JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act

We’ve added new pages about legacy employers under the extended JobKeeper scheme. Some employers who don’t qualify for JobKeeper payments anymore can continue to use some of the flexibility JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act (with some changes). See:

We've also created a 10% decline in turnover template certificate for legacy employers, with other template documents being published soon. We encourage you to check back regularly for updates.

You can also subscribe to email updates and we’ll let you know when we’ve updated all of our information.

14 September 2020

Financial support announced for Victorian businesses

On 13 September 2020, the Victorian Government announced financial support for Victorian businesses affected by coronavirus. The financial support includes cash grants, deferral of some payroll taxes and waivers for some business fees.

Find out more at the Victorian Government – Business Victoria website external-icon.png.

You can learn more about your workplace rights and obligations if you’ve been affected by restrictions in Victoria at Information for Victorian workplaces.

7 September 2020

Victorian Government releases roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions

On 6 September 2020, the Victorian Government released its roadmap out of current coronavirus restrictions. This included announcements about the easing of restrictions for some workplaces. Learn more at:

Employers and employees needing information and advice about their workplace rights and obligations can go to Information for Victorian workplaces.

3 September 2020

Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme in South Australia

The South Australian Government has introduced a Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme for workers who don’t have access to paid sick leave and can’t work for reasons relating to coronavirus.

See South Australia – Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme external-icon.png for more information and to check eligibility.

1 September 2020

Extension of JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act

On 1 September 2020, legislation to extend the JobKeeper scheme passed Parliament. As part of this, the JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act were also extended with some changes. The extended provisions take effect from 28 September 2020. The last day that they apply is 28 March 2021.

We’re currently updating the information on this website and encourage you to check back regularly for updates. In the meantime, read more at Extension of JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act. You can also subscribe to email updates and we’ll let you know when we’ve updated our information.

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August 2020

31 August 2020

Temporary changes to Vehicle Award extended to 30 September 2020

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule I in the Vehicle Award. The Schedule provides increased flexibility to businesses covered by the award during coronavirus, and now applies until 30 September 2020. Read our updated information on Vehicle Award changes during coronavirus.

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility reinserted into Surveying Award

The Fair Work Commission has reinserted temporary Schedule X into the Surveying Award.

Schedule X allows eligible employees under these awards to access 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility. It originally stopped applying from 30 June 2020.

The Schedule now applies from the first pay period that starts on or after 28 August 2020 until 31 October 2020.

Go to Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards for more information on Schedule X provisions.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment available to some NSW and SA workers 

The Australian Government has extended the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to include eligible workers who live in NSW or South Australia and work in Victoria.

People who live in NSW or SA and work in Victoria are now eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they can’t work because of reasons relating to coronavirus.

For more information about the payment and how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia's website.

27 August 2020

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment available for Tasmanian workers

The Australian Government has extended the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to include some Tasmanian workers. Previously, it was only available to eligible Victorian workers.

Tasmanian workers that qualify can apply for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they can’t work because of reasons relating to coronavirus.

For more information about the payment and how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia's website.

12 August 2020

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility added to construction industry awards

The Fair Work Commission has inserted temporary Schedule X into the Building and Construction Award, Joinery Award and Mobile Crane Award.

Schedule X allows eligible employees under these awards to access 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility. It applies from the first pay period that starts on or after 11 August 2020 until 30 September 2020.

Go to Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes in awards for more information on Schedule X provisions.

7 August 2020

Changes to JobKeeper eligibility

On 7 August 2020, the Australian Government announced some changes to eligibility rules for the JobKeeper scheme. More information about these eligibility changes and extension of JobKeeper is available on Treasury’s JobKeeper extension external-icon.png page.

We've updated the information on this website. You can also sign up for email updates about the extension of the JobKeeper scheme.

6 August 2020

Added:

  • We’ve added a new Tools and resources during coronavirus page with helpful resources for your workplace during coronavirus. This includes templates for employers (including those accessing the JobKeeper scheme) and videos busting common workplace myths about work during coronavirus.

Flexibility in the Real Estate Award during coronavirus

The Fair Work Commission has varied the Real Estate Award by adding a new Schedule I. The new schedule temporarily changes the rules for commission-only arrangements and the calculation of an employee’s Minimum Income Threshold Amount.

For more information, see Real Estate Award flexibility during coronavirus.

5 August 2020

Work permits required for some Victorian employees

Victorian workplaces that are allowed to stay open during new restrictions need to make sure that all employees who are required to work on-site are given a valid work permit by their employer.

To learn more about work permits and how to issue them, go to the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety website – Permitted worker scheme external-icon.png.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has announced a new Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, available from Wednesday, 5 August 2020. As a disaster payment, it only applies in Victoria, which is in a state of disaster. It’s available to eligible Victorian workers who don’t have paid sick leave. For more information about the payment including how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia's website.

You can also keep up-to-date with coronavirus news and support at Australia.gov.au external-icon.png.

3 August 2020

Information for Victorian workplaces impacted by new restrictions

If your workplace has been affected by restrictions in Victoria, we have information about your workplace entitlements and obligations. This includes alternative work arrangements, taking care of a child, pay and leave, and stand downs at work. Find out more at Information for Victorian workplaces.

Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award flexibility during coronavirus – expiry of Schedule J

Schedule J in the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award stopped applying from 1 August 2020. This means that employers and employees can no longer use the temporary flexibility provisions in Schedule J for changes to full-time and part-time employees’ hours of work, or employees’ classifications and duties.

Go to Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award flexibility during coronavirus for more information about these changes and what applies now.

Fast Food Award flexibility during coronavirus – expiry of Schedule H

Schedule H in the Fast Food Award stopped applying from 31 July 2020. This means that employers and employees can no longer use the temporary flexibility provisions in Schedule H for changes to part-time work or annual leave.

Go to Fast Food Award flexibility during coronavirus for more information about these changes and what applies now.

1 August 2020

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July 2020

31 July 2020

Unpaid pandemic leave and award flexibility extended in Health Awards

The Fair Work Commission has varied Schedule X in 9 awards in the health sector.

Schedule X provides unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay. Any leave taken under Schedule X now needs to start by 29 October 2020.

Schedule X applies in these awards until a further order is issued by the Fair Work Commission.

See our updated information on Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes in awards.

Temporary changes to Vehicle Award extended to 31 August 2020

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule I in the Vehicle Award. The extended provisions of Schedule I now apply until 31 August 2020.

Read our updated information on Vehicle Award changes during coronavirus.

29 July 2020

Paid pandemic leave for residential aged care employees

The Fair Work Commission has added an entitlement to paid pandemic leave for residential aged care employees covered by the Aged Care, Nurses and Health Services Awards. The new entitlement starts from the first pay period on or after 29 July 2020, is up to 2 weeks’ paid leave on each occasion, and is available for 3 months.

Go to Paid pandemic leave in some awards for more information.

28 July 2020

Unpaid pandemic leave extended in 4 retail industry awards

The Fair Work Commission has extended Schedule X until 30 September 2020 for the following retail industry awards:

  • Fast Food Award
  • Hair and Beauty Award
  • Retail Award
  • Storage Services Award.

Schedule X gives eligible employees 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility.

Check our updated information on Unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes in awards.

27 July 2020

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility reinserted into Manufacturing and Graphic Arts Awards

The Fair Work Commission has reinserted Schedule X into the Manufacturing Award and Graphic Arts Award after it expired on 30 June 2020. The reinstated Schedule X operates from the first pay period on or after 27 July 2020 until 30 September 2020.

This means eligible employees under these awards can now access 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility from the first pay period on or after 27 July 2020 until 30 September 2020.

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

22 July 2020

 

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21 July 2020

Extension of the JobKeeper Scheme

On 21 July 2020, the Australian Government announced their intention to extend the JobKeeper scheme until 28 March 2021, with some changes from 28 September 2020 to the eligibility criteria and payment amounts. The current scheme will remain in place until 28 September 2020.

More information about the extension and changes announced on 21 July 2020 is available in Treasury’s Extension of the JobKeeper Payment fact sheet external-icon.png.

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

20 July 2020

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16 July 2020

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15 July 2020

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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.

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June 2020

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

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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:

16 June 2020

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12 June 2020

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10 June 2020

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4 June 2020

Updated:

  • We updated information about overpayments and the JobKeeper scheme on:

3 June 2020

Updated:

  • We updated information about taking sick and carer’s leave during stand downs (including JobKeeper enabling stand down directions) on:

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May 2020

29 May 2020

Added:

  • We’ve added a new page Returning to work and the workplace, with information about planning and managing the return to work, including lifting stand downs, alternative working arrangements and directing employees to return to the workplace.
  • We’ve added a new page Quarantine & self-isolation: pay & leave options, with information about paid and unpaid leave options for employees if they need to quarantine or self-isolate because of coronavirus.

27 May 2020

Updated:

Added:

  • We’ve added a search function to help you find the information you need.

22 May 2020

Added:

Updated:

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:

13 May 2020

Updated:

12 May 2020

Added:

11 May 2020

Updated:

8 May 2020

Updated:

  • We updated the guidance about how an eligible employee is paid under the JobKeeper scheme on:

7 May 2020

Updated:

  • We updated the guidance for employers about giving a JobKeeper enabling direction on:

6 May 2020

Updated:

5 May 2020

Updated:

1 May 2020 

We’ve updated our information about the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme and the Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions, including:

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April 2020

28 April 2020

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24 April 2020

Added:

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23 April 2020

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22 April 2020

Updated:

  • We added information about the interaction between the JobKeeper provisions under the Fair Work Act and award flexibility provisions to the following pages:

21 April 2020

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20 April 2020

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17 April 2020

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15 April 2020

Updated Australian Capital Territory enforceable government direction on:

14 April 2020

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9 April 2020

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8 April 2020

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7 April 2020

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6 April 2020

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3 April 2020

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2 April 2020

1 April 2020

  • The Australian Government has announced its intention to pass legislation to introduce wage subsidies for businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19. It is called the JobKeeper payment and is intended to be paid directly to employers by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who then provide the payment to their employees. Employers can register their interest at Australian Taxation Office – JobKeeper payment external-icon.png.

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March 2020

31 March 2020

  • On 31 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Restaurant Award. The new Schedule applies from 31 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Restaurant Award flexibility during outbreak of coronavirus.

30 March 2020

  • On 25 March 2020, the New South Wales Government amended the state’s Long Service Leave Act to allow for greater flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus. For more information, visit the NSW State Government website external-icon.png.

Updated:

28 March 2020

  • On 28 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Clerks Award. The new Schedule I applies from 28 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Clerks Award flexibility during outbreak of coronavirus.

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