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Quick Summary of JobKeeper enabling stand down directions


JobKeeper 2.0 eligibility and amount of subsidy


Changes to the Fair Work Act – Qualifying Employers


From 28 September 2020, employers who remain eligible for JK 2.0 (referred to as Qualifying employers) can no longer request employees to take annual leave – usual rules in modern awards, enterprise agreements and the Fair Work Act will apply. All other JK Direction powers continue to exist.


JobKeeper enabling stand down directions


Qualifying employers can give eligible employees a direction to reduce their hours or days of work, including to work no hours in certain circumstances. These directions are referred to as a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction. Examples are:

  • Not work on one or more days that they usually work

  • Work for a shorter period than the employee usually works on a particular day or days

  • Work less hours overall than the employee usually works

  • Not work any hours at all.

If a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction applies to an employee, the employee has to comply with it.


When an employer can give a direction


A qualifying employer can give an eligible employee a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction if:

  • The employee can’t be usefully employed for their normal days or hours because of business changes attributable to:

  • government initiatives to slow coronavirus transmission (such as an enforceable government direction);

  • the coronavirus pandemic, or

  • the employer meets the requirements for the direction, such as the direction being reasonable.

How to give a direction


To give a direction qualifying employer need to:

  1. Notify the employee in writing at least 3 days before giving the JobKeeper enabling stand down direction. This applies unless the employee genuinely agrees to a shorter timeframe.

  2. Consult with the employee (or their representative) about the direction and keep a written record of the consultation.

  3. Give the employee the direction in writing.

When a direction is in place, it doesn't apply:

  • When an employee is taking authorised paid or unpaid leave (such as annual leave or long service leave), or

  • During any time the Fair Work Act says the employee is entitled to be absent from work (as opposed to taking leave), for example on a public holiday.

Changes to the Fair Work Act – Legacy Employers


Employers who are no longer eligible for JK 2.0 (“legacy employers”) can only use (more reduced) Fair Work Act flexibilities if they meet a 10% decline in turnover test and obtain a “10% Decline in Turnover Certificate” prior to each period.


Legacy employers can give JK Directions to:

  1. Reduce employees’ hours, but the hours cannot be reduced to less than 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours as of 1 March 2020 and employees must work at least two consecutive hours per shift

  2. Change the duties of employees

  3. Change the location where the employees perform their work

To give a direction legacy employer need to:

  1. Notify the employee in writing at least 7 days before giving the JobKeeper enabling stand down direction.

  2. Consult with the employee (or their representative) about the direction and keep a written record of the consultation.

  3. Give the employee the direction in writing.

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Essential HR in partnership with Employment Innovations are leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium-sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, outsourcing payroll, payroll software, human resource management & HR software.


Click here for further information or contact me directly at justine.pepper@employmentinnovations.com

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