In recognition that most modern awards do not have any mechanism to support work from home, the FWC has released a draft award schedule to address working from home arrangements.
It is likely the direct economic and social impacts of the pandemic will be felt for some time to come and that a continuing need for flexible work arrangements to assist employers and employees in adapting to the changed conditions and to support the recovery will be required.
It is intended that the schedule will facilitate further flexibility in rapidly addressing challenges as well as meeting the changing expectations of employees.
The draft schedule would enable employees to work a compressed working week, share reduced hours across a team, take twice as much leave at half pay and purchase additional leave.
In current award provisions, allowing an employee to work with greater flexibility may result in obligations for penalty rate payments if ordinary hours are worked at certain times.
Whilst not all clauses proposed in the draft schedule would suit some modern awards, the purpose is to assist employees and employers to respond to greater flexibility as will likely become the new normal.
The flexibility terms within the draft schedule are likely to be of particular relevance to small businesses as they are less likely to be covered by an enterprise agreement.
Interested parties may have further additions to propose.
Innes Willox of the Ai Group said the draft schedule contained several provisions bearing similarity to those agreed upon by parties when determining the variation to the Clerks Private Sector Award.
Willox further stated that he looks forward to the upcoming discussions between employer groups and unions regarding the specific variations to particular awards.
We will provide any further updates relating to this schedule as they occur.
For assistance with flexible arrangements please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.
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