AHA and UWU secure hospo workers win

25 March, 2020 by Vanessa Cavasinni

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and the United Workers Union (UWU) have successfully collaborated to secure a big win for hospitality workers currently facing uncertainty around their employment.

On Tuesday 24 March, the Fair Work Commission considered and approved an application made by the AHA and UWU to vary the Hospitality Industry General Award (HIGA) with urgency, in light of the current circumstances the industry finds itself in, in response to Covid-19.

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The variations that were put forward and approved are:

  • After consulting with the relevant employee, employers can now direct full-time employees to work between 3-5 days or 60 per cent of their guaranteed hours per week.
  • Employees can perform duties within their skill level regardless of their classification, provided that their duties are safe.
  • An employer may direct an employee to take annual leave upon 24 hours’ notice.
  • An employer and employee may agree to the taking of twice as much annual leave at half the rate of pay.

The variations give both employers and employees more flexibility in amending an employee’s working situation, in order to keep them in some form of employment. It will aid in saving many jobs within the industry over the coming months.

“The AHA and UWU believes the variation provides as much flexibility to employers as possible while also ensuring employees are protected,” stated AHA National CEO, Stephen Ferguson.

“I want to thank UWU National President Jo Schofield and her team for working with us as quickly as possible to make this application.”

Ferguson continued: “We also commend the Federal Government for its support of this application and, in particular the leadership of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations the Hon Christian Porter MP.”

“The full bench of the Fair Work Commission commended the balanced nature of the arrangements and noted that this was a time for cooperation not conflict.”