What are JobKeeper Directions?
Recent changes made to the Fair Work Act 2009 allow employers who qualify for the JobKeeper Scheme to give a “JobKeeper Enabling Direction” to employees who will receive the JobKeeper payment directing them to:
🔹 Reduce their hours or days of work (including reducing their hours to nil, i.e. “standing them down”)
🔹 Alter the duties to be performed by the employee; and/or
🔹 Change the location from which the employee performs their work.
The Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions started on 9 April 2020 and end on 28 September 2020.
Who is eligible for JobKeeper payments?
To be entitled to a JobKeeper payment for an eligible employee, an employer must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to the employee.
There are safeguards that ensure that an employee’s hourly base rate of pay cannot be reduced. The employer must meet the minimum payment guarantee. This means that they must pay the employee for the relevant fortnight the greater of:
- amounts totalling at least $1,500 (the JobKeeper payment), or
- the amount payable to the employee for the work they performed.
Is consultation with an employee still necessary?
Yes, an employer who qualifies must consult with an employee (or the employee’s representative) before giving a JobKeeper enabling direction. Also, the direction cannot be unreasonable in all the circumstances. For directions about duties or location of work, a direction must be necessary to continue the employment of one or more employees of the employer.
What is a Jobkeeper Directions Letter?
A JobKeeper Directions letter is a letter sent from an employer to an employee providing them with written notification of their eligibility for the JobKeeper payment and any changes that affect their position at work. It requires the employee to acknowledge any temporary variations to their contract by signing the letter.
What does the template cover?
Our JobKeeper Directions template letter covers:
★ JobKeeper direction (e.g: change to hours or workplace)
★ Hourly rate of pay
★ Duration of the direction
★ Accrual of service and entitlements
Do you need a JobKeeper Directions Letter?
Yes, a JobKeeper Enabling Direction must be in writing. We highly recommend using our template letter to provide this notice to employees.
We have specifically drafted this letter to help employers dealing with changes to their business as a result of COVID19.
We recommend that you consult the Fair Work website to check any Awards and agreements which may apply before you use this template.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to pay at least the minimum wage and entitlements to your employees under the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement. It is also your responsibility to comply with the requirements set out by the government for the JobKeeper scheme.
If you are unsure about your obligations or if an action complies with the relevant employment laws, please seek legal advice.