Home Insights The Fair Work Commission response to COVID-19 for employers and employees

The Fair Work Commission response to COVID-19 for employers and employees

This report examines the responses of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for employers and employees. 

The measures taken by the FWC, thus far, are:

  • Approving applications for the insertion of COVID-19 flexibility schedules in the following modern awards:

    • Clerks –Private Sector Award 2010 (Clerks Award)

    • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (Hospitality Award)

    • Restaurant Industry Award 2010 (Restaurant Award)

  • Proposing urgent changes to 103 modern awards to provide for two weeks' unpaid ‘pandemic leave’ for millions of award-covered workers, and to provide employers and employees greater flexibility regarding leave entitlements.

  • Approving the first application (by CVSG Electrical Construction) to vary an enterprise agreement to remove a wage increase due on 31 March 2020, and considering the impact of COVID-19 on enterprise bargaining.

This report also analyses the temporary laws passed by the New South Wales Parliament which will create greater flexibility for employers and workers to access long service leave in advance during the ongoing crisis.

You can access a copy of The Fair Work Commission response to COVID-19 for employers and employees here, or click the ‘DOWNLOAD PDF’ button.

This article is part of our insight series COVID-19: Navigating the implications for business in Australia and beyond. To get notified by email when new COVID-19 insights are released, please subscribe for updates here.


John Tuck

Head of Employment and Labour

Heidi Fairhall

Special Counsel

James Connolly

Overseas Legal Advisor (Admitted in Ireland, England & Wales not admitted in Australia)


Board Advisory Employment and Labour

This publication is introductory in nature. Its content is current at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should always obtain legal advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action relating to matters covered by this publication. Some information may have been obtained from external sources, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such information.

  • Download PDF file
  • Print article