On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made variations to many awards, adding unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave flexibility.

The entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave has now been extended from 31 December 2021 until 30 June 2022. Entitlements to take annual leave at half pay hasn’t been extended and will end on 31 December 2021.

Employees under the affected awards can access up to 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave (or more by agreement with their employer) if they’re unable to work due to self-isolation requirements, or if business operations are restricted by directives from government or medical authorities.

The leave is available in full immediately to full-time, part-time and casual employees employed under the relevant awards.

Affected awards include:

• Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award
• Aquaculture Industry Award
• Building and Construction Award
• Cotton Ginning Award
• Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award
• Horticulture Award
• Meat Industry Award
• Pastoral Award
• Poultry Processing Award
• General Retail Industry Award
• Sugar Industry Award
• Wine Industry Award
• Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award




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