On this page

Protect Your Business

Request a Consultation with One of Our Advisers Today!

Changes To The Restaurant Award – Emergency Coronavirus Changes, March 2020

Published March 11, 2020 (last updated June 25, 2020) Author: Employsure
Restaurant Award Changes

Due to the unprecedented impact COVID-19 has had on businesses across Australia, the Fair Work Commission has made very practical changes to the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 (the Award) to enable businesses like yours to continue operating.

The changes apply to employees who are working from home and are as follows.

What’s Changed In The Restaurant Award?

Work Performed

  • 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.
  • 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.

Hours of Work- Full-time and Part-time Employees

  • New Provisions:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Old Provisions:
    • Full time employee: is engaged to work an average of 38 ordinary hours per week.
    • Part-time employee: is engaged to work at least 8 and less than 38 ordinary hours per week, or an average of those hours per week over the roster cycle.

Taking of Annual Leave

  • 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.
  • For example, the employee has 4 weeks annual leave accrued. The employee and employer agree the employee can take 8 weeks annual leave at half pay.

Direction To Take Annual Leave

  • New Provisions:
    • You may direct the employee to take annual leave with 24 hours’ notice.
  • Old Provisions:
    • You must provide the employee at least 8 weeks’ notice and no more than 12 months’ notice of when the leave will start.

Close Downs

  • New Provisions:
    • You may now provide employees with one week’s notice or a shorter period if mutually agreed to if you require them to take annual leave as part of a close-down of your operations, or part of your operations.
    • If the employee does not have sufficient annual leave to cover all or part of the close-down period, the remainder of the period will be unpaid.
    • When an employee is placed on unpaid leave in this circumstance, this period will count as service for the purposes of NES and relevant award entitlements (eg redundancy or termination)
  • Old Provisions:
    • You must give 4 weeks’ notice to the employee if you require them to take annual leave as part of a close-down of your operations.

What Do I Need To Do?

If you are an employer with staff under the Restaurant Award, you can begin to apply these new provisions. Keep in mind that these provisions are only temporary and that you will have to revert to the original Award terms when the temporary period is set to end (1 July 2020 at the time of writing).

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 Restaurant Award have been notified of these changes by email. Get in contact with Employsure if you have any trouble understanding or implementing these changes.

Join 27,000 Business Owners.

Free Business Resources and Expert Advice 24/7 to Make Your Workplace Better.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When did these changes come into effect?

    These changes came into effect on Tuesday 31 March 2020, until 30 June 2020. The original Award terms will apply from 1 July 2020.

  • Has the Pay Rate Schedule changed?

    No, the Pay Rate Schedule has not changed.

  • 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 Restaurant 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.

Get Workplace Advice Now

Call Our Team of Expert Advisers Who Will Help You with Your Workplace Questions.

Have a question?

Have a question that hasn’t been answered? Fill in the form below and one of our experts will contact you back.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call Now

1300 207 182

Live Chat

Click here