Australian Food Workers Among Those Now Entitled to ‘Pandemic Leave’

Australian employees are suffering greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australian employees are suffering greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 3, 2020 — In a bid to help workers throughout Australia, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter, announced changes to many of Australia’s existing employee awards. In particular, 103 of the 121 employee awards were updated to include the new reforms.

Employees will now be able to take 2 weeks of “pandemic leave” if they need to self isolate or are unable to work due to COVID-19. This leave will be unpaid.

Another new measure has been implemented, where employees are now able to take double their accrued annual leave at half the pay. This measure has been implemented in the hopes it will help those Australians who have jobs that have currently stopped or have reduced hours.

Unless extended by the Australian government, both of the new measures come into effect immediately and will end on June 30.

Some of the awards that are included in the new pandemic leave entitlements are:

  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010
  • Meat Industry Award 2010
  • Poultry Processing Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010
  • Seafood Processing Award 2020
  • Wine Industry Award 2010

The above is not a complete list of all of the employee awards that will be seeing the benefits of the new measures. To read the entire list, click here.