On 24 April 2020 the Fair Work Commission varied the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award (General Staff Award) to provide further flexibility for employers to deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.
The application was supported by the IEU and Association of Independent Schools from various states including Tasmania. The major change was to allow an employer to direct a full time or part time employees to reduce their ordinary hours by up to 25%. Such a direction will take effect 5 days after the notice of intention is issued to an employee and remains in force for a period of no more than 12 weeks.
After issuing a notice of intention the employer must discuss the direction with the employee or their representative and notify the IEU of the change.
This direction does not require the agreement of the employee or the IEU and suspends the operation of clause 13 of the Award requiring a redundancy payment.
Employees who are subject to such a reduction in hours will continue to accrue annual leave and personal/carer’s leave and any other applicable awards based on their ordinary hours prior to the reduction.
Change of Duties
The award has also been varied to allow an employer to direct an employee to perform other than their usual duties including any duties that are within their skill and competency regardless of their classification.
This direction for change of duties is subject to the employer maintaining the employee’s rate of ordinary pay and that the duties are safe and the employee is licensed and qualsified to perform them.
If the duties are of a higher level, then the higher rate of pay will apply.
All of the above changes are subject to the Fair Work Commission determining any disputes that may arise in respect of these changes.
The changes come into effect in relation to a particular employee at the start of the employee’s first full pay period after 24 April 2020.
If we can assist you regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us.