State system COVID-19 JobKeeper provisions

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In May 2020, temporary state system JobKeeper provisions were introduced for private sector state system employers and employees who were participating in the Commonwealth JobKeeper scheme.

These provisions were implemented by the COVID-19 JobKeeper General Order issued by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission on 15 May 2020. 

The COVID-19 JobKeeper General Order ceased to have effect on 28 March 2021. 

Under the state system JobKeeper provisions, a qualifying employer was able to give a ‘JobKeeper enabling direction’ to an employee to temporarily:

  • stand down an employee (including by reducing their hours or days of work);
  • change an employee’s usual duties; and
  • change an employee’s location of work.

The state system JobKeeper provisions also allowed employers to make agreements with employees to change their days and times of work subject to specific requirements. 

On 28 March 2021, the COVID-19 JobKeeper General Order ceased operation, meaning its provisions, including those relating to stand down, can no longer be used. 

For current information about standing down staff or changing working hours where a business has been impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit the Employment impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus page.

Effect of JobKeeper enabling directions on service and leave

Service

Under the state system JobKeeper provisions, for the purposes of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 and any applicable industrial instrument (that is, a WA award; an industrial agreement or employer-employee agreement; a contract of employment), if an employee was subject to a JobKeeper enabling direction in relation to stand down, hours, duty or location of work during a period, that period counted as service.

The General Order overrides any WA award clause that is less beneficial. This means that even if an applicable award states that a period of stand down does not count as service, a stand down in accordance with the JobKeeper General Order will be counted as service.

The situation may be different for long service leave entitlements, depending on an employee’s employment arrangements. Refer to the JobKeeper enabling stand down directions and long service leave entitlements page for more information.

Redundancy and termination

If a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction applied to an employee (including a direction which reduced an employee’s hours of work), the following are to be calculated based on their usual hours and days of work, as if the direction had not been given:

  • redundancy pay;
  • payment in lieu of notice of termination.

Leave accrual 

Under the state system JobKeeper provisions, for most types of leave, if a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction applied to an employee (including a direction which reduced an employee’s hours of work), the employee accrued leave entitlements based on their usual hours and days of work, as if the direction had not been given.

The situation may be different for long service leave accrual, depending on an employee’s employment arrangements. Refer to the JobKeeper enabling stand down directions and long service leave entitlements page for more information.

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