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Business guide to Coronavirus

COVID-19 provisions axed from modern awards

Last updated: 18 October 2022

 The Fair Work Commission has issued a determination to delete the expired COVID-19-related provisions in modern awards. In 2020 it varied 99 modern awards to include unpaid ‘pandemic leave’ and the flexibility to take twice as much annual leave at half pay.

The Fair Work Commission has issued a determination to delete the expired COVID-19-related provisions in modern awards. Several modern awards contain Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these have not been extended by application, and are therefore no longer operative.

The changes come into operation from the first full pay period on or after 17 October 2022.

Read our Workplace Circular for full details of the changes.

What happened in 2020?

The Fair Work Commission varied 99 modern awards in 2020 to include unpaid ‘pandemic leave’ and the flexibility to take twice as much annual leave at half pay.

The changes:

  • Provided up to two weeks unpaid leave for an employee required to self-isolate or was otherwise prevented from working because of measures taken by the government or medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Allowed an employer and employee to agree to take double annual leave on half-pay.

Important things to note were:

  • The granting of leave was up to two weeks' leave and as such may be shorter.
  • An employer could request evidence the leave was taken in response to government measures or due to the impacts of COVID-19. 
  • An employer might agree to give an employee more unpaid pandemic leave but was not required to.

What changed?

The Fair Work Commission issued decisions to extend the operation of the unpaid pandemic leave provision of Schedule X - Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in 73 awards until 30 June 2022.

The extension details can be viewed here.

April 2020 decision can be viewed here.

April 2020 summary of the decision can be viewed here.

List of modern awards impacted

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners and Aboriginal

Community Controlled Health Services Award 2020

Aged Care Award 2010

Airline Operations-Ground Staff Award 2020

Airport Employees Award 2020

Alpine Resorts Award 2020

Aluminium Industry Award 2020

Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award 2020

Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020

Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020

Aquaculture Industry Award 2020

Architects Award 2020

Asphalt Industry Award 2020

Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020

Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2020

Business Equipment Award 2020

Car Parking Award 2020

Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award 2020

Cemetery Industry Award 2020

Children's Services Award 2010

Cleaning Services Award 2020

Contract Call Centres Award 2020

Corrections and Detention (Private Sector) Award 2020

Cotton Ginning Award 2020

Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020

Fast Food Industry Award 2010

Fitness Industry Award 2020

Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2020

Funeral Industry Award 2020

Gardening and Landscaping Services Award 2020

General Retail Industry Award 2020

Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2020

Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010

Health Professional and Support Services Award 2020

Horse and Greyhound Training Award 2020

Horticulture Award 2020

Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020

Joinery and Building Trades Award 2020

Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020

Legal Services Award 2020

Local Government Industry Award 2020

Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020

Meat Industry Award 2020

Medical Practitioners Award 2020

Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2020

Nursery Award 2020

Nurses Award 2020

Pastoral Award 2020

Pest Control Industry Award 2020

Pharmaceutical Industry Award 2020

Pharmacy Industry Award 2020

Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2020

Poultry Processing Award 2020

Premixed Concrete Award 2020

Professional Diving Industry (Recreational) Award 2020

Professional Employees Award 2020

Racing Clubs Events Award 2020

Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020

Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020

Restaurant Industry Award 2020

Salt Industry Award 2020

Seafood Processing Award 2020

Security Services Industry Award 2020

Silviculture Award 2020

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010

State Government Agencies Award 2020

Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020

Sugar Industry Award 2020

Supported Employment Services Award 2020

Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2020

Timber Industry Award 2020

Waste Management Award 2020

Water Industry Award 2020

Wine Industry Award 2020

Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award 2020

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