Friday 17 Apr 2020
The much-discussed JobKeeper measures were rushed through Federal Parliament last week, with a potentially large impact on our private sector members.
Unions, workers and employers are quickly trying to make sense of the new laws, which are causing some confusion since key legislative measures regarding the practical implementation of the new scheme are yet to be passed.
While media reporting is focusing on the welcome $1,500 cash payments to workers, the JobKeeper measures also allow employers to stand down and reduce hours for employees, direct them to change duties, times and locations of work and request them to take annual leave.
While many employers will use the JobKeeper scheme fairly, the HSUWA has been assisting many private sector members who reported unscrupulous behaviour of employers who have been using this time of uncertainty to force contract variations such as cutting hours on their workforce without going through the proper processes.
Private sector members should be scrutinising any changes to pay, hours of work or requests to take annual leave made by their employers. Since the activation of the JobKeeper scheme is the responsibility of employers, members should question their employers about what steps the employer has or is going to take to implement the scheme in their workplace.