A five-member FWC full bench has today given any objectors until Monday to respond to its "provisional view" that it should extend COVID-19 paid pandemic leave provisions in three major health awards for five months.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus is hopeful that agreement can be reached on a legal definition of casual employees, despite the Morrison Government's IR working groups ending with recriminations between union and employer groups.
The FWC has used the further extension of COVID-19-related flexibilities in the clerks award to advance its campaign for enduring changes in working-from-home arrangements, calling on employers and unions to report back on possible variations to address the issue by early next month.
The FWC has extended COVID-19 flexibility clauses in 74 modern awards until the end of March, while employers are proposing to follow the same path for the clerical award in the face of union opposition.
A majority of employer organisations have heatedly rejected a joint position agreed between the Business Council of Australia and the ACTU over changes to the law covering agreement-making, while IR Minister Christian Porter says discussions are continuing and that differences of opinion should come as no surprise.
A $5 an hour "COVID-19 care allowance" for disability workers attending to self-isolated and quarantining clients is unnecessary and likely to trigger a push to insert it into other health sector and aged care awards, according to an FWC full bench.
A long-serving pilot thought to have spent more than $13,500 contesting his redundancy has been awarded compensation of one week's pay, after the FWC held it was not genuine due to a lack of consultation.
The FWC has taken the initiative of releasing a draft award schedule addressing working-from-home arrangements, describing it as conversation-starter that recognises the need to adapt to COVID-19 realities.