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Changes to the Hospitality Award – Emergency Coronavirus Changes, March 2020

Published March 11, 2020 (last updated June 24, 2020) Author: Employsure
Man Smiling in a bar

Due to the unprecedented nature of the Coronavirus and it’s detrimental impact on businesses in Australia, the Fair Work Commission has approved a change to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award (the Award) to make it easier for employers to continue operating during this time.

What’s Changed In The Hospitality Award?

A new Schedule L has been added to the Award.
  • You can direct an employee to perform any tasks that are within their skill and competency despite their ordinary classification, as long as the tasks are safe and the employee is licensed and qualified to perform them.
    • When performing lower level duties, their pay stays the same.
    • When performing higher level duties and they are engaged for two or more hours in a day to do those higher duties, they must be paid the rate for the higher classification the whole day. If the employee works higher level duties for less than two hours, the employee must be paid the higher rate for the time worked. Ensure that you keep accurate records and reflect this in the employee’s pay slip.
  • You have more flexibility in relation to permanent employees’ hours, as long as you follow the consultation requirements for roster changes and hours of work under the Award. If the affected employees are members of the United Worker’s Union, you must notify the union of your intention to implement these changes.
    • Full time employees: You may direct them to work an average of 22.8 to 38 hours per week. Pay will apply on a pro-rata basis.
    • Part-time employees: You may direct them to work an average of 60% to 100% of their guaranteed hours per week (or per week over the roster cycle).
  • Leave entitlements (annual and personal) will accrue at the rate of pay guaranteed prior to this change. It will not decrease to reflect the employee’s new hours.
  • If the employee wants to take leave (annual or personal) it will be paid at the rate guaranteed prior to this change. It will not decrease to reflect the employee’s new hours. You and the employee may also agree when taking annual leave, to take twice the amount of leave at half the rate of pay for the whole or part of the annual leave period.
  • You may direct the employee to take annual leave with 24 hours’ notice. This clause can only be used subject to the requirements in the existing close down and excessive accruals clauses.

When Does This Come Into Effect?

This change is only for a set period of time: 24 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

The original Award terms will apply from 1 July 2020.

This may be updated, depending on the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.

How Can Employsure Help You?

Not a client? If you need help understanding and implementing these changes, please contact Employsure on 1300 207 182 and we can give you free, initial advice on this topic. If you’d like more help implementing these changes in your business and are interested in ongoing support, Employsure can help you.

Employsure clients affected by the changes to the Hospitality Award have been notified of these changes by email. Get in contact with Employsure if you have any trouble understanding or implementing these changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When did these changes come into effect?

    These changes came into effect on Tuesday 24 March.

  • Has the Pay Rate Schedule changed?

    The most recent March 2020 change has not impacted pay rates.

  • Do you need help understanding these changes to the Hospitality Award?

    Not a client? If you do need help understanding and implementing these changes, feel free to ring Employsure on 1300 207 182. We can give you free, initial advice on these changes to the Hospitality Award.

About Employsure

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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