The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released a Statement on COVID-19 Award Flexibility Schedules (Schedule X) identifying 77 awards they have provisionally proposed will be extended to March 2021. The SCHADS and SES Awards are not among these 77 Awards, so their Schedules X are due to expire 29 October 2020.The SCHADS Award, the SES Award and the other health sector awards have not had their Schedules X extended to March because these awards are the subject of separate proceedings related to paid pandemic leave, due to be heard in late October 2020.The current Schedule X expiry date of 29 October 2020 was an interim provision pending the outcome of the applications to insert paid pandemic leave provisions into the health sector awards. For that reason, consideration of a possible extension for the SCHADS and SES awards will be dealt with separately by the relevant full bench. The FWC has invited interested parties to make a separate application to have any of those Schedules X extended.NDS expects that there will be applications to extend the SCHADS and SES Award Schedule X as part of the separate proceedings relating to paid pandemic leave. NDS will not oppose any extension of the current Schedule X if an application is made. The FWC would treat any application as a separate issue to the claim for paid pandemic leave.Neither NDS nor any other employer group opposed the original insertion of the Schedule X into the SCHADS and SES Awards and there is unlikely to be any opposition to an extension in principle.The FWC has also released a decision dismissing the applicationÂ by various parties for the inclusion of a COVID-19 Care Allowance in the SCHADS Award. NDS initially supported the application on the proviso that the Commonwealth Government fund the cost of the allowance. When that commitment was not forthcoming, NDS withdrew support for the application and lodged submissions opposing the application due to a lack of funding.NDS will continue to keep members updated on developments in any SCHADS Award related matters.
For any enquiries, please contact Kerrie Langford, Head of Employment and Workforce Innovation, 0448 249 150,