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Employers and employees show co-operation is key

Media Release

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial relations, Christian Porter, today welcomed the joint approach of the United Workers Union (UWU) and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) to vary the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 in a practical, flexible, common-sense way to help businesses and save jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The union and AHA have applied to the Fair Work Commission to vary the Award to provide greater flexibility on a temporary basis – at this stage until the end of June 2020," the Attorney-General said.

"The move is specifically designed to help business stay open and workers stay in jobs and demonstrates that the level of trust and co-operation that can save jobs if done right.

"This is exactly what we need right now - employers and employees working together to help each other survive this pandemic – cooperating like peoples’ jobs depend on it, because they do.

"We are all shocked by the queues we are seeing outside Centrelink offices as the reality of this health crisis hits our economy hard and fast.

"The more businesses we can help keep open and the more workers we can keep in jobs, the better."

The joint application seeks to;

  • give employers flexibility to reduce hours for full and part-time staff (providing 60 per cent of full-time or regular part-time hours), and;
  • allow staff to be able to work across classifications, provided it is safe to do so and the employee has the necessary qualifications, such as Responsible Serving of Alcohol certificate.
  • allows for employers to direct employees to take annual leave, with 24 hours’ notice, and provide flexibility for leave such as half-pay. "These are common-sense provisions to be temporarily inserted into this Award that will help some businesses stay open to provide take-away services and save jobs during the conditions they are currently experiencing," the Attorney-General said.

"This could be the difference between survival and closure for some businesses and for some workers, the difference between staying employed or not.

"Other unions and employers, with government assistance, are currently working co-operatively on similar approaches covering key awards and I congratulate all those working co-operatively to help each other through this current crisis.

"I also recognise the excellent work of the Fair Work Commission in dealing with this application in record time."