JobKeeper - Hours, Annual Leave, Sick Leave

Hello,

I work in the tourism industry permanent part time - my employer accessed job keeper and I haven't stopped work since the pandemic began - we've been able to make it through though business is up and down due to the various lockdowns in Victoria.
I'm a bit confused about some things and apologies for my ignorance. My employer is trying to keep all employees around the $750 mark during quiet periods but giving us normal hours when it's busy.

Can my employer ask me to work extra shifts for less pay?
Am I still entitled to annual leave and sick leave benefits on jobkeeper?

Thanks in advance

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Comments

  • I'm a bit confused about some things and apologies for my ignorance. My employer is trying to keep all employees around the $750 mark during quiet periods but giving us normal hours when it's busy.

    Can my employer ask me to work extra shifts for less pay?

    Not 100% sure what you're asking here?

    Quiet weeks - you work enough hours to equate to about $750 of earnings (e.g. if you earn $25/hr, you get 30 hours, which is $750)
    Busy weeks - you work "normal hours" (not sure how many this is for you?). Presumably this is more hours than during quiet weeks, as you mention extra shifts. But I'm not sure what you mean by less pay. You should still get at least $750 per week in this case?

    Am I still entitled to annual leave and sick leave benefits on jobkeeper?

    Yes, you do, but you may not receive any extra take-home pay as the employer has to top up your pay to $750/week.

    The annual leave and sick leave benefits will include:
    - Being paid super on the hours that you are on leave. The employer does not have to pay super on top-up amounts, only on amounts paid for work/leave
    - If you are not working on a day that you otherwise should have been, taking annual or personal/sick leave would be authorised leave. Just not showing up could be considered an unauthorised absence or abandonment of your position

    • Thanks for your reply!

      So I should be getting super payment too?

      • Yes, you should get the normal super payments on the pay for hours worked or for approved leave.

        Say out of the $750 in the week (and assuming your pay rate is $25/hr):

        • You worked 12 hours, so earned $300 for working
        • You were on personal/sick leave for 10 hours, so earned $250 while on approved leave

        Your gross pay for the week would be $750 (you get that, minus tax), which includes $550 earned while working or on leave, and a $200 jobkeeper topup.

        You would earn $52.25 in superannuation, which is 9.5% of the $550 (note the jobkeeper topup does not accrue super).

  • Can my employer ask me to work extra shifts for less pay?

    Sorry for being unclear. I work 4 shifts a week and get paid roughly $850 each week - my employer wants me to work the 4 shifts plus an extra shift and pay me $750 - is that allowed?

    • Sorry for being unclear. I work 4 shifts a week and get paid roughly $850 each week - my employer wants me to work the 4 shifts plus an extra shift and pay me $750 - is that allowed?

      Is the $850 what you would have gotten pre-COVID?

      The answer will depend on the total hours - i.e. are you still getting paid the same hourly rate?

      If yes (e.g. you are working more shifts, but they are shorter, so you are working fewer hours overall) then it's allowed.
      If no (e.g. the shifts are the same length as before, and you are working more hours), then it's not allowed. Your employer can't unilaterally reduce your hourly rate.

  • +4 votes

    Disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer. Being permanent part time means your salary and work hrs are set in your employment contract, any variation would have to be agreed upon by both parties. This ABC article might give you some answer:
    https://www.abc.net.au/life/can-your-employer-change-your-ho...

    In short:
    1 - Can an employer reduce working hours while on Jobkeeper? Yes, conditions applied.
    2 - Can an employer increase working hours while on Jobkeeper? Yes, if the extra hours are reasonable. If not, you are allowed to say no.
    3 - Can an employer reduce pay with reduced workings hours? Yes, conditions applied.
    4 - Can an employer reduce pay with same or more workings hours? No, you should get paid the same rate as you'd normally do. If your normal pay is <=$750/wk before covid, it is now $750/wk. If your normal pay is >$750/wk, you should get your normal pay.

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