It is now very common for businesses to have alternative work arrangements in place for snap lockdowns like the one we are facing this week. These changes include working from home, changes in rosters, and hours of work.
There have been temporary changes to increase award flexibility and to vary enterprise agreements to allow for changes in work arrangements. You can find the list of changes here.
Enterprise agreements, awards, employee contracts and workplace policies.
Before making working from home arrangements, employers should look into enterprise agreements, awards, employee contracts, and workplace policies.
They should also consider whether the arrangements meet the standards of safety and health, the employer must ensure that the employee’s home is suitable for the type of work performed as workplace health and safety laws still apply.
Recordkeeping, including hours of work, also remains in place to meet annual wage arrangements.
Working from home may not be an option if health and safety standards are not met, including family and domestic violence. In this case, the employee may be entitled to take unpaid FDV leave, request for a different arrangement, and in some cases take paid sick leave.
Work hours changes
Flexibility in the workplace most allow employees to continue to receive their entitlements and negotiating the right arrangement might take some negotiation.
If there needs to be changes in rosters or hours of work, the employee must be consulted about the proposed change and be given the opportunity to provide their view on the change and consider the impact caused. There might be extra rules that need to be considered, check the specific award changes in the links above.
The employer and employee can negotiate flexibility on the start and end of the new working hours, providing individual flexibility arrangements is an option that needs to be considered. Always ensure these new arrangements are in writing and agreed on by the employee.
More resources can be found on the Fairwork website in the links below, alternatively, contact us for more information.