Unpaid pandemic leave reinstated

Industrial relations

The Fair Work Commission has partially extended the Schedule X – Additional Measures During the Covid - 19 Pandemic in the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2020.

The unpaid pandemic leave will now continue until 30 June 2022, however the annual leave flexibility provisions ceased on 31 December 2021.

The unpaid pandemic leave provisions apply where an 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 or is otherwise prevented from working by measures taken by government or medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

An employee who seeks to use these provisions must give their employer notice of their intention to take such leave and must give the employer evidence of the need to take such leave.

Unpaid pandemic leave may initially be for a period of up to two weeks. Where agreed by the employer and the employee, the employee may take more than two weeks.

The unpaid pandemic leave provisions do not affect any other paid or unpaid leave entitlement.