Temporary Amendments to Modern Awards

Go here for the latest Award variations in response to COVID-19


On 8 April 2020 a number of temporary changes to most modern awards were made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes apply to the modern awards that usually cover early childhood education and care services, subject to the exceptions noted below.

Changes that apply to employees employed under Modern awards

Under the amendments, employees have been provided with:

2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave

  • Employees are entitled to take up to 2 weeks’ unpaid leave if they are required by government or medical authorities or on the advice of a medical practitioner to self-isolate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The unpaid leave counts as service towards the accrual of all other types of leave, and employees do not have to take any of their accrued paid leave before accessing unpaid pandemic leave.

The ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agrees

  • This provision does not apply to employees under the Clerks-Private Sector Award 2010 as a similar, although not identical, provision was included in the earlier changes to that Award. Go here to read more.
  • For teachers employed under the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010, this provision only applies to teachers employed in early childhood services that operate for at least 48 weeks a year and to whom Schedule B of the Award applies.

The changes apply from the first full pay period on or after 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Please go here for detailed information. These are complex changes and it is important that you read the detailed information to ensure they are implemented correctly.

Employees employed under Enterprise Agreements

Employers and employees may wish to vary their enterprise agreements to introduce additional flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to those described above for Award-reliant employees. To assist parties making these applications, the Commission has published a COVID-19 Fact sheet – Making an application to vary an agreement and some general information about flexibility under enterprise agreements – see COVID-19 & enterprise agreements.

Please contact the Member Support Infoline on (02) 4782 1470 or 1800 991 602 (option 2) if you need further information and support.

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