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FWC decides on dispute on working hours enabling JobKeeper

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
13 July 2020 1 minute readShare
FWC

The national workplace relations tribunal has made a decision around whether a stand-down direction issued by a business to one of its employees to enable access to JobKeeper was permissible under the Fair Work Act.

The dispute concerns a JobKeeper-enabling stand-down direction issued by business Live Events to employee Allan Jones on 11 June that his minimum hours of work be reduced from 80 to 48 hours per fortnight, the FWC said in a statement.

The FWC said that on 19 June, Mr Jones filed an application pursuant to section 789GV of the Fair Work Act 2009 seeking to have the commission deal with a JobKeeper dispute.

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On 3 July, FWC deputy president Peterson Anderson issued a decision [2020] FWC 3469 that the JobKeeper-enabling direction issued by Live Events to Mr Jones to reduce his hours to be worked by 40 per cent was “authorised” within the meaning of section 789GDC of the Fair Work Act.

However, the decision was seen as “unreasonable within the meaning of section 789GK [of the act]” and “overwhelmingly precautionary in nature”.

 

“[A] Direction on reasonable terms would have been for Live Events to have provided itself the capacity (if overall circumstances warranted) to reduce Mr Jones’ hours to 64 per fortnight (that is, up to a 20 per cent reduction),” deputy president Anderson said.

“This would have been consistent with the flexibility the employer sought to give itself with respect to other employees, a flexibility that was reasonable in the overall circumstances.”

As such, the FWC said deputy president Anderson issued an order to vary the direction issued on 11 June by deleting the words, “Your new minimum hours of work will be 48 hours per fortnight”.

Instead, the words will be substituted with the words, “Your new minimum hours of work will be no less than 64 per fortnight where in all the circumstances this reduction is necessary and reasonable”.

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FWC decides on dispute on working hours enabling JobKeeper
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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