Stage 2 Shutdown – Places of Social Gatherings
The Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings imposed at midday, 23 March 2020 will remain in place., with Stage 2 restrictions on social gatherings also now be imposed from 11.59pm today, Wednesday, 25 March 2020.
How long will Stages 1 and 2 be in place?
These restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis and other facilities not already impacted will be considered under the Stage 2 restrictions, if necessary. Government is expecting these measures to be in place for at least 6 months.
There is a real risk that a Stage 3 will be imposed at some stage soon as the rate of infections increase.
What does this mean for Stage 1 and Stage 2 businesses and their employees?
We recommend you obtain advice on whether the stand down provisions can be used by your business if you are impacted, as they are not automatic and if they are used incorrectly, they can result in orders for salaries and wages to be repaid to impacted employees.
However, businesses directly impacted by these Enforceable Government Directions which prevent your business from opening or operating, and your employees from working in any capacity, are expected to trigger the stand down provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), or a relevant Enterprise Agreement or Employment Contract.
To be a lawful stand down, there has to be:
- a stoppage of work;
- for a cause which the Employer cannot reasonably be held responsible; and
- the Employer cannot usefully employ its employees because of that stoppage.
Stand downs can be without pay, however remember that employees can still use their paid leave entitlements. Employee service related entitlements will still continue to accrue.