CCIWA has successfully applied to extend new Jobkeeper flexibility to businesses covered by WA’s industrial relations system.
WA is the only state with a dual IR system for the private sector. While most workers are covered by Modern Awards some, particularly sole traders, still operate under the state’s system.
The JobKeeper scheme was supported by temporary amendments to the Fair Work Act. The changes allowed eligible employees to manage their staff more flexibly.
However, small businesses covered by the WA Industrial Relations system had not been given the same flexibility.
CCIWA initiated discussions with WA Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston and UnionsWA to replicate these provisions for the state’s IR system. The changes allow JobKeeper-eligible businesses to:
- reduce hours of work where employees can’t be usefully employed;
- alter when work is performed;
- change the location of work; and
- alter employee’s duties.
The WA Industrial Relations Commission handed down its decision to introduce the General Order earlier today. It is likely to take effect from tomorrow.
CCIWA’s Workplace Relations Director Ryan Martin says that businesses need to approach any significant staffing changes with caution.
“As with the Fair Work Act amendments, there are still strict technical requirements that must be complied with for a direction to be lawful, including consultation and notice of any direction and the keeping of written records,” he said.
“Any failure to comply may result in an employee making an application to the Commission and the direction having no effect.”