As Greater Sydney and other parts of NSW experience prolonged lockdowns and workplace restrictions, it is important for members to be aware of the wage support available to them if they are adversely affected.

In NSW Local Government wage support is available under the [UPDATED 220701] Local Government (COVID-19) Splinter (Interim) Award 2022.

Under this Award, where the State or Federal Governments restrict your capacity to perform your job, your employer may:

  • direct you to carry out different duties at different times or locations (including from home if possible); and
  • after having explored suitable alternative duties, temporarily stand you down if there is no useful work for you to perform.

If you are stood down in this way, and you are a permanent full-time or permanent part-time employee, the wage support available to you under the Award is:

  1. 4 weeks special leave at your salary system rate of pay
  2. Once this special leave is exhausted you may be:
    • directed to take annual leave if you have more than 4 weeks of accrued annual leave; or
    • placed on 13 weeks of the Job Retention Allowance currently worth $888.50 per week (pro-rata for part-time, juniors, trainees, and apprentices)

You may supplement the Job Retention Allowance with any accrued leave that you may have. For example, a person earning approximately $1300 a week could elect to use about 4 weeks and 1 days’ worth of annual leave or long service leave and largely maintain their full rate of pay for the entire 13 week period.

This Award is designed to facilitate a common-sense discussion about suitable alternative duties with your employer and in the scenario where that is not possible, provide wage support during a period of restrictions.

Everyone’s individual circumstances will vary, including your ability to perform suitable alternative duties or to work from home. We encourage you to discuss these arrangements with your employer and contact the Union if you are not comfortable with the outcome of those discussions.

If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact your USU Organiser or call the Support Team on 1300 136 604.