Has your workplace been shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic? This blog will go though the steps on what you need to know.
- Make a request for special paid leave.
- If not, use accrued annual or long service leave.
- Do not take personal leave unless you are actually sick or have to take care of close family members who are sick.
- If you have no paid leave, negotiate with your employer about being stood down instead of being laid off.
- Apply for Jobseeker Payment to keep you afloat while you are in a stand-down period.
- As a last resort, get notice and redundancy pay from your employer.
You can jump onto the Australian Council for Trade Union (ACTU) website resources to use a template letter to ask for special paid leave. They also have a list of employers who are providing that special paid leave. If there is no special paid leave now, then you can use your accrued annual leave and long service leave. Personal leave is only to be used when you are unfit to perform your job or somebody that you care for in your immediate family or household is unfit to perform for work.
If none of those are an option, you need to talk to your employer about what does “stand down” look like? A lot of employers cannot operate their businesses and they will go down into stand down mode. Your employer can stand you down which means they do not have to pay you during that period.
It is better to be stood down and get the jobseeker payment while your period of employment is unbroken. Getting notice and severance pay is a last resort.
Check out the Fair Work Commission’s comprehensive list that outlines all the changes that are happening to the workplace as a result of COVID-19 right here.