Many people seem unclear about whether employees can be required to use their annual holidays; and whether the wage subsidy can be allocated to payment of holiday pay.
The answers are:
Preparing for Level 3 will be no easy task. It certainly will not be business as usual. You have a few days to plan how you will do this.
All businesses operating under Level 3 must have a COVID-19 safety plan that sets out how they will operate safely. Worksafe is all over this; and has developed a plan applicable to all businesses. Most industry groups have also been working on plans for their particular sector, which you should review. The key issues to consider in your plan are:
Slipping under the radar at the end of last week was the Epidemic Preparedness (Employment Relations Act 2000 - Collective Bargaining) Immediate Modification Order 2020. Its purpose is to ensure that no party to collective bargaining is disadvantaged by the COVID-19 lockdown.Read More
On 20 April, the Government intends announcing its plans for lifting Level 4. While nobody expects that to occur before 22 April, there is growing pressure from many quarters to move to Level 2 as soon as possible so the economy can start to flow.Read More
Your obligations under the wage subsidy scheme depend on whether you applied before or after 4pm on 27 March (ie date of application, not date of receipt of payment).
The scheme focuses on three groups of workers in essential businesses:
*At risk groups are:
This month we have three public holidays:
I have read a number of commentaries by politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers and others about how employers should be complying with their employment law obligations during the lockdown. It is clear that most of these people are not directly affected by the situation and have not had to deal with the reality of seeing their business rapidly disappear.Read More
Previously the Government’s advice was that employers must pay the full amount of wage subsidy to the employees for whom it was claimed. This created a situation where some employees could receive more than they otherwise would have if they had worked normally.Read More
Since 4.00 pm on 27 March:
It is obvious that the COVID-19 crisis will cause major damage to a very large number of businesses. The most optimistic advice seems to be that this will run for at least 3 months, but even if that is the case, the recovery may take many more months, or even years in some cases.
The big question is what to do to limit the damage?Read More
The Government has recently introduced the Screen Workers Bill into Parliament. The Bill does not repeal the so-called Hobbit Law, but is consistent with the recommendations from the joint working party recommendations last year.Read More