Here is a summary of points you need to understand for adjustments required during the COVID-19 pandemic period in 2020.
You need to be aware of the legislative arrangements to know that you are honouring your staff by meeting the requirements of the legislation.
Maybe your church has administration, accounts, secretarial or clerical staff?
Note that ministry staff are generally employed under specific guidelines of the denomination or ‘covering’ network.
Many churches employ non-ministry staff without realising that these staff, both female and male, are covered by the Modern Awards, under the Fair Work Act. When your church employs non-ministry staff you need to be aware of the details of the Fair Work Act as they apply in your situation.
These staff are covered by the Clerks—Private Sector Award 2020
There have been many changes and updates to the award this year that employers of clerical staff need to keep up with.
One of them is the updated award allowing for increased flexibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic and especially for staff working from home.
Schedule I – Award Flexibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The main points are:
- operates from 28 March 2020 until 30 September 2020.
- The spread of ordinary hours of work for employees working from home by agreement with the employer & employee has increased to between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 7.00 am and 12.30 pm on Saturday. This means that the ordinary time earnings rate applies for work undertaken during these hours.
- An employer and the full-time and part-time employees in a workplace or section of a workplace, may agree to temporarily reduce ordinary hours of work for the employees in the workplace or section for a specified period.
- An employer may request an employee to take paid annual leave
- An employee is entitled to take up to 2 weeks’ unpaid leave if the employee is required by government or medical authorities or on the advice of a medical practitioner to self-isolate and is consequently prevented from working
- A minimum of 2 consecutive hours must be worked for part-time & casual employees on any shift for employees working from home
These points are subject to rules and provisions must be adhered to.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you:
- Click here and read the detail of the schedule,
- Seek and follow the advice from your church’s HR advisory department,
- Ensure that your employee/s understand these points and any agreements are documented by an agreement signed by both the employer and employee, and
- Ensure that you track, by Timesheets, all the worked hours and locations for each employee
Whilst there are many benefits for employees and employers/churches during this period, there are risks.
It is incumbent on both the church and the employees to be sure to meet the compliance requirements. It is for the benefit of both the employee and the church that all this is done properly and in order.