COVID-19 Changes to awards for Hospitality, Clerks and Restaurants

Article By: Joey Tass, Lawyer Cappello Rowe Lawyers Sydney


The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have far reaching and unprecedented impacts on both businesses and its employees. In order to address these issues and provide greater operational flexibility, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has implemented recent temporary variations to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (Hospitality Award), Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 (Clerks Award) and the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.


In addition, on 1 April 2020 the FWC issued a statement outlining its intention to update 103 Awards in accordance with section 157(3) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and in the context of the unique circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed variations will also support the important public policy objective of encouraging those who should self-isolate to do so and thereby limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplaces, allowing businesses to continue to operate. The variations are a short term measure and if adopted, will operate until at least 30 June 2020 and will provide an entitlement to ‘pandemic leave’ and the flexibility to take annual leave at half pay.


Please see the attached statement from the FWC which provides further information on the proposed variations of the Awards –


The FWC intends to expedite the proposed variations, given the exigencies of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FWC is scheduled to have a hearing on 8 April 2020 to consider any submissions that may be raised opposing the proposed variations of any particular Award or more generally. We will keep you updated on the progress of the variations with the FWC.

If you have any queries on how this may potentially impact you, please feel free to contact us on 8325 1520 or alternatively email us at