Author: Lehanne Bleumink,  Manager, HR Services, Gold Seal

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces. The changes to the Fair Work Act will now allow an employer who qualifies for JobKeeper payments to direct employees not to work, work reduced hours or work on different days – but only if the employee can’t be usefully employed for their normal work hours due to the impact of COVID-19.

On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations varying 99 awards, including Banking Finance & Insurance, to provide unpaid pandemic leave and greater flexibility for annual leave for employees in many awards.


The JobKeeper Payment Rules and FAQ’s have been released by the Treasurer and are now available on the Fair Work Ombudsman site JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

In summary, find out what these new rules mean for you below.

Information for employers
JobKeeper payment information – for employers

Information for employees
JobKeeper payment information– for employees

Frequently asked questions
JobKeeper payment – frequently asked questions


The Fair Work Commission determination to vary Awards inserted a temporary new schedule into these Awards. (Note: the Banking Finance & Insurance Award has been varied). The schedule applies from the first full pay period on or after 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020, it provides employees with:

  • 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave
  • The ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agrees

Here is an explanation of the variation Temporary Award flexibility changes

We encourage employers and employees to work together to find appropriate solutions that suit the needs of individual workplaces. It is extremely important to document any agreement and change in writing.

For assistance on any of your HR/IR requirements – email Gold Seal at