Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors has today filed an application on behalf of Restaurant and Catering Industrial (RCI) to vary the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 in response to COVID-19. The Application builds on a significant and unprecedented level of cooperation between the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (also represented by ABLA), RCI, Ai Group, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the United Workers Union.
Restaurant Industry Award amendments
The key amendments to the Award, which will be included in a schedule attached to the Award, are outlined below:
Date and Operation
Effective immediately these amendments will operate until 30 June 2020, unless extended.
This amendment allows employees to be directed to perform all duties that are within the employees skill and competency (even if they are lesser duties) regardless of their classification, provided the duties are safe and the employee is qualified to perform them, without the reduction of pay.
Agreed temporary reduction in hours by a majority in the workplace
This amendment permits an employer to reduce the hours of full-time and part-time employees to between 60% and 100% of their usual ordinary hours.
There are consultation and notification obligations contained in the Schedule that must be complied with before a reduction takes effect.
Employers and employees may agree to the taking of up to twice as much annual leave at a proportionately reduced rate, including during any close-down
An employer may direct an employee to take any accrued annual leave, by giving at least 24 hours notice.
Where an employee is required to take annual leave during a close-down of operations, or part of its operations, the employer must give at least one week’s notice.
During a close-down, an employee can take all of their annual leave and then will be given leave without pay for the remainder of the shutdown. Any close-down of operations must not extend beyond 30 June 2020.
However, these amendments to the Award do not impact upon the operation of section 524 of the Fair Work Act 2009, where an employer stands down employees for reasons beyond the control of the employer where there is a stoppage of work.
These are temporary amendments to the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 in response to the crisis facing Australian business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions about how this will impact your business, please get in touch with the team.