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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 22nd September

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 22nd September.

Today’s briefing is very important as it relates to changes you may need to make to your entire workforce before Monday 28th September. Please read this briefing carefully. Speak to a Tenfold business coach if you have any questions.

JobKeeper Extension starts on Monday 28th September, which will mean changes for most businesses. As a reminder, JobKeeper relates to both payments from the ATO and temporary workplace directions administered by Fair Work.

In this briefing, I’m talking about the changes to workplace directions under JobKeeper Extension.

I wrote about the 3 different categories of businesses in my briefing on 2nd September (you can read it here: https://tenfoldcoaching.com.au/covid-19-business-continuity-2nd-september/)

As a quick reminder:

JobKeeper extension business categories

There is still no update on the alternative test for assessing turnover.

We understand from Fair Work that once the alternative tests have been advised and you do qualify, you will be in the category of Qualifying Employer.

 

Changes to Workplace Directions from 28th September

From 28th September, the workplace directions you can give your employees will vary depending on which of the three categories your business is in.

Recovered business and workplace directions:

• All JobKeeper enabled directions will end on 27th September;
• You will not be able to make further JobKeeper enabled directions;
• Any changes to the normal (i.e. pre-COVID) working arrangements are to be made under the standard Fair Work rules and employment awards.

 

Legacy employers and workplace directions:

• Any previous JobKeeper enabling directions you have given will no longer apply from 28th September;
• You will be able to give new directions to your employees who you were getting JobKeeper for, using an amended set of Fair Work provisions and new rules (see below for details on the new rules);
• If you need to issue JobKeeper directions from 28th September, the turnover test period is the June 2020 quarter compared to the June 2019 quarter – see the table from Fair Work:
JobKeeper extension workplace directions test periods

I’ve mapped it out here to help you visualise the times and test periods:

JobKeeper extension workplace directions

• You will need to have a certificate from an eligible financial service provider, or a statutory declaration for small businesses (less than 15 employees) confirming the 10% decline in your turnover.

• You will need to give your employees who are subject to a JobKeeper enabling direction or agreement written notice about whether:
– You have a certificate or stat dec confirming the 10% decline in your turnover, and
– the JobKeeper enabling directions will continue or end.

There are templates available for these notifications on the Fair Work website:

Template: Continuing to use JobKeeper directions https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/218/jobkeeper-legacy-employer-direction-or-agreement-continuing-notification.docx.aspx

Template: Not continuing to use JobKeeper (because the 10% decline in turnover certificate is not held):
https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/218/jobkeeper-legacy-employer-direction-or-agreement-ceasing-notification.docx.aspx

Template: 10% decline in turnover certificate https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/218/10-per-cent-decline-in-turnover-template-certificate.DOCX.aspx

 

New rules for Legacy Employers to give directions to your legacy employees:

• Your employee’s hours can’t be reduced below 60% of their ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020; and
• Your employee must be provided with at least two hours work on any day they are required to work; and
• You must provide your employee with seven days’ notice of the direction; and
• You can no longer direct your employee to draw down on their annual leave.

(Note: Legacy employers can only use these JobKeeper provisions for employees you received JobKeeper payments for before 28 September 2020 [previously eligible employees]. You cannot give JobKeeper directions to employees who you didn’t receive JobKeeper payment for.)

For further information for Legacy Employers, you can visit this page on the Fair Work website:
https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/pay-and-leave-during-coronavirus/jobkeeper-wage-subsidy-scheme/extension-of-jobkeeper-provisions-in-the-fair-work-act#legacy-employers-jobkeeper-directions-and-agreements

 

Qualifying employer and workplace directions:

• Any JobKeeper enabling directions you have given will continue;
• You can give new JobKeeper directions to employees who you receive JobKeeper payments for;
• You will be able to use all of the Fair Work JobKeeper enabled directions in their current form (except annual leave provision).

For help with the types of directions you can give, please speak to your business coach. You can also get information on the Fair Work website here: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/pay-and-leave-during-coronavirus/jobkeeper-wage-subsidy-scheme/jobkeeper-enabling-stand-down-directions

There are templates for giving directions on the Fair Work website, see here: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/contact-us/tools-and-resources-during-coronavirus

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There is a lot of complexity in this topic, and we want to make sure every business and every Tenfold client is compliant, and their team members are treated fairly.

Your business coach can give you advice about which category you fit into. We can help with directing you to the appropriate templates and Fair Work advice. If necessary, we can assist you with a recommendation to a suitably qualified HR expert or lawyer.

Call us on 03 9813 8777 to speak with one of our experienced business coaches.

Don’t have time to call now? Request a call back here:

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Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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