Sadly, it is expected that thousands of Victorians will be stood down from their jobs during the stage 4 lockdown.
A stand down is when you temporarily stop performing work for your employer because you cannot be usefully employed due to circumstances which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible. This is different from being fired or being made redundant because you are still employed by them and still have some entitlements like annual leave.
Below we answer some commonly asks questions about stand downs.
Is it legal for my employer to stand me down?
In response to the economic effects of COVID-19, there have been some temporary changes to stand down laws in Australia. Employers who are receiving JobKeeper payments can now issue a JobKeeper stand down direction to their eligible JobKeeper employees down. A JobKeeper stand down direction can completely or partially reduce an employee’s working hours, during the pandemic when they cannot be usefully employed due to
- The COVID-19 pandemic; or
- government initiatives to slow the transmission of COVID‑
Stand Down is a complex area of industrial law and you should contact the Australian Unions Support Centre if you’ve been stood down, if your employer is proposing to stand you down, or if you have any questions.
Do I still get paid if I am stood down?
Under industrial law, employers do not have to pay employees during a general stand down. However, if you are stood down under a JobKeeper stand down direction, you must be paid the higher of either the amount of the JobKeeper payment, or your usual pay for any hours you do work (see JobKeeper Payment for more detail).
Contact your union or the Australian Unions Support Centre if you have any concerns or questions about your pay.
Do I still get leave if I am stood down?
If you have been stood down, you are still considered employed by your employer. This means you are still entitled to some of your minimum leave entitlements such as annual leave.
Under a stand down direction, full-time and part-time employees still accrue leave as normal. They can also take annual leave and may be eligible to take other forms of leave. You are not considered stood down during this leave period. You are not considered stood down during this leave period.
Employees stood down without pay are also still entitled to be paid for public holidays, if you would normally have worked on that day. Some exceptions do apply depending on your agreement or contract.
Chat to your union or the Australian Unions Support Centre if need advice on your leave entitlements.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project. Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.