The FWC handed down the decision varying the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 in late December.
The new provisions deal with a range of matters for employees who are working at home or at another location of their choosing that is not the premises of the employer, including:
- an extended spread of ordinary hours for day workers;
- an ability for employees to elect not to work ordinary hours continuously;
- flexible starting and finishing times for part-time employees;
- an ability for part-time employees to work non-consecutive hours; and
- arrangements for taking meal and rest break while undertaking remote work.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said the employer association applied for the flexibilities alongside the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and were not opposed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Services Union.
Further, Mr Willox said the FWC decision provides employers and employees with more flexibility to agree on working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Clerks Award applies to hundreds of thousands of employees – a large proportion of whom are working from home at least some of the time,” he said.
"The new provisions operate until 30 June 2021 and will assist employers and employees to agree on mutually beneficial working arrangements during the pandemic.”
Late last year, the federal government introduced a bill seeking to amend Fair Work Act with regards to casual employment.
The bill introduced a statutory definition of a casual employee that focuses on the offer and acceptance of employment and draws on common law principles, as well as a measure aimed at preventing unfair outcomes in situations where employers have to pay an employee twice for the same entitlement.