Fair Work Commission grants variations extension to Restaurant Industry Award 2020 and the Hospitality

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Earlier this year, the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association (“R&CA”) filed a joint application with the United Workers Union to temporarily vary the Restaurant Industry Award to allow greater operational flexibility for employers and employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the R&CA made an application to the Fair Work Commission (the “Commission”) to extend the variations in line with the JobKeeper scheme. R&CA is pleased to announce that the Commission today has granted extensions to both the Restaurant Industry Award 2020 and the Hospitality (General) Industry Award 2020.

While the changes to each of the Awards have largely remained the same, some minor variations have been made. The new changes are now valid until 27 September 2020. Please note that the following changes do not apply to employees receiving JobKeeper subsidies.

The key changes to each of the Awards include:

  1. Classification and Duties
    1. Employers may direct employees to perform duties within their skill and competency regardless of their classification; and
    2. Rates for higher duties will apply.
  2. Hours of Work
    1. A full time employee may work reduced hours at an average of 22.8 to 38 hours per week. Payment is to be made on a pro rata basis;
    2. A part time employee may work average hours between 60% and 100% of their guaranteed hours per week or per roster cycle;
    3. Employers will need to follow the standard consultation clauses when arranging the above and any direction will need to be in writing and be reasonable in all the circumstances; and
    4. Employees will continue to accrue all entitlements irrespective of their reduced hours.
  3. Annual Leave
    1. An employee may direct an employee to take annual leave so long as such a request is reasonable in all the circumstances and such a direction is made in writing;
    2. An employee must have an annual leave balance of no less than 2 weeks in order for a direction to be made; and
    3. The period of leave to be taken must commence before 13 September 2020.

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