This questionnaire was put together with Community Law to provide clarity to workers about their employment conditions with the wage subsidy.
Download Community Law's flowchart which informs this questionnaire.
What if I am on a casual employment agreement?
Casual workers are not entitled to ongoing work, so there is no guarantee that you will continue to be employed. Your employer, however, is still able to apply for the wage subsidy and pay you accordingly. It is arguable that an employer should, as a matter of good faith, make a subsidy application on behalf of their casual staff as it costs them nothing to do so.
Can I be required to use my annual leave in order to receive government subsidised wages?
No. The purpose of annual leave under the Holidays Act is to allow an opportunity for rest and recreation. Requiring a worker to take annual leave in order to reduce costs
associated with Covid-19 is inconsistent with that purpose, and is likely to be unlawful. Even if it were legal to do so, employers are required to give 14 days’ notice of annual leave, and cannot require employees to take annual leave in advance. One of the conditions of the government wage subsidy is that employers will not unlawfully compel or
require employers to take annual leave during the 12 week subsidy period.
Am I entitled to take annual leave while my wages are being subsidised?
Yes. How much pay you will receive may reduce, however, during the 12-week subsidy period.You should be paid whichever the following is greater:
- Your normal pay, on the day you take leave; or
- your average pay over the last 12 months.
If your pay has been reduced as a result of COVID-19, then your 12-month average will likely be higher, although this will reduce the longer you stay on the lower rate.
What if my hours vary from week to week?
If you work variable hours, you are entitled to be paid on the basis of your average hours over the last 12 months, or over the period of time you have been employed (if less than 12 months).