Last night, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020 and the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Bill 2020 were passed in Parliament to formally amend certain provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “Act”) in the current COVID-19 climate.
The changes are temporary, and, at this point, has been said to last for a period of six (6) months (i.e., until 28 September 2020). These changes are inherently complex and, as such, will be subject to regular review by government authorities and bodies.
It is very important to note that:
1. The changes override any existing employment contract, Enterprise Agreement or Modern Award; and
2. The changes will only apply to an employee qualified to receive the JobKeeper subsidy (a “qualified employee”).
The key changes to the Act are outlined in R&CA’s JobKeeper Legislation Fact Sheet.