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APA HR In Practice COVID-19 Workplace Relations and WHS Guide - 6 April 2020

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Can I stand my employee’s down due to COVID 19?

Due to current economic circumstances related to the COVID 19 pandemic, many businesses are coming to us for clarification on whether they can stand down staff.

Specifically, many business owners view standing down staff as the most effective means of ensuring their business remains viable. Standing down employees is largely covered by Section 524 of the Fair Work Act 2009. As per these provisions, for a staff member to be legally stood down, it needs to be demonstrable that:

  1. they are unable to be usefully employed;
  2. due to a stoppage of work …
  3. for reasons which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible
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