A six-member FWC full bench has today made a coronavirus-driven change to 99 modern awards to temporarily give an estimated 4.4 million workers access to two weeks unpaid "pandemic leave" and enable them to take annual leave at half pay.
Federal Parliament is set to pass the Morrison Government's $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy tomorrow after changes agreed last night between IR Minister Christian Porter and ACTU secretary Sally McManus.
IR Minister Christian Porter has sought to address unions' concerns about proposed JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act to deal with the coronavirus crisis, saying they will apply for only six months, but maintains that the Government is determined to pass the legislation on Wednesday
The ACTU is pressing crossbenchers to oppose the Morrison Government's proposal to amend the Fair Work Act to temporarily provide more flexibility in awards and agreements to deal with the coronavirus crisis when it legislates the JobKeeper wage subsidy program this week.
Canberra asks FWC wage panel to maintain jobs; PM urges employers to take JobKeeper "guarantee" to their banks; Opposition raises JobKeeper issues with Government; FWC floating new coronavirus statutory declaration requirements; and Coronavirus crisis no time for AMMA proposal, says Porter.
The ACTU has resisted employer arguments to delay any rise in minimum pay, while it has accepted that the annual wage review timetable should be amended to enable the expert panel to consider national accounts data that is likely to identify the early economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described his government's close consultation with the Opposition in drafting legislation to give effect to the JobKeeper coronavirus wage subsidy program that will be put to Parliament next week, while joining IR Minister Christian Porter in thanking unions for their cooperation in achieving "massive" temporary IR changes.