Recent events in Sydney have been devastating for us all. Alongside the tragedy, fear, and remarkable resilience of the human spirit, comes the economic reality of the fall-out. When events occur that trigger emergency measures – such as acts of terrorism, extreme violence, or natural disasters – many businesses are impacted by the emergency measures put in place to deal with the crisis and its consequences.
Inviting employees to take paid leave (e.g. annual leave) or, where the applicable award or agreement allows for it, instructing employees to take paid leave;
* Re-directing employees to other work sites or offices where possible;
* Organising flexible work arrangements, such as working from home; or
* Standing down an employee if authorised to do so under the applicable award, or if the requirements under the Fair Work Act are met.
Where employees are not covered by an award or agreement, then s524 of the Fair Work Act will apply. The critical element of this section is that the employee “cannot be usefully employed”. In emergency events, the most applicable circumstance is detailed by s524 (1) (c) – namely, that the cause of the stoppage of work is one “for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible.”
Personal/Carer’s Leave if the employee suffers injury or illness or needs to care for someone who is consequently sick, injured or has been affected by an unexpected emergency – note that this includes stress related illnesses;
Community Service Leave if the employee is part of a complying community or emergency service initiative; and
Compassionate Leave if someone close to the employee has consequently passed away.
- Fair Work Commission Website
- Fair Work Commission Awards List
- National Employment Standards
- Danny King Legal
Danny King Legal
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