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COVID-19 Crisis – 2 April Summary: Some good news for NSW Developers, Builders & Contractors and Federal Industrial and Workplace Relations Changes

Some good news for NSW Developers, Builders & Contractors

The NSW Government announced today, 2 April 2020, that it has eased hours of work restrictions on construction sites, dark kitchens & food trucks.

Construction sites will now be permitted to operate on weekends and public holiday in a bid to encourage businesses to keep going during this health & economic crisis.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes introduced the “extraordinary orders” under the Planning Act on Thursday.

The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity during the pandemic.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 is now in place and will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, or the advice of NSW Health changes.
Federal Industrial and Workplace Relations Changes

Today, 2nd April 2020, the Attorney General, Christian Porter, announced key changes made to the Modern Award system. These reforms are temporary and will last as long as official crisis does.
There are 121 Modern Awards and there have been very significant changes to three of these:

  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010;
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010; and
  • Clerks – Private Sector Award Award

These 3 Awards cover over 2 million Australian workers. An agreement has been reached by employers and Unions in these sectors. Changes to these Awards include:

  • An individual worker who was performing one type of duty in one type of classification can now move to perform another type of duty in another classification;
  • Facilitated Working From Home Arrangements. Some of the Awards were so inflexible that is was previously unlawful to work from home; and
  • Allowed for, by agreement, employees taking longer durations of annual leave at reduced rates.

It is further proposed that the FWC will change 103 of the 121 Modern Awards to include the following 2 changes across the board to allow for:

  • 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave for all employees; and
  • Allowing for double the duration of leave at half the pay.

These changes are intended to allow flexibility for businesses where that flexibility could mean the survival of the business and preservation of the jobs within that business or the failure of the business.

The expert team at Madison Marcus are equipped to handle all of your legal and business enquiries in relation to the COVID-19 Crisis. Contact us by clicking here.

Madison Marcus is closely monitoring all developments relating to the COVID-19 Crisis and how they can affect our clients. You can keep up to date with the advice from our experts in relation to legal  and business issues that have arisen so far by clicking here


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