Standing Down Employees

Last updated 26th March 2020

There are avenues available for a business impacted by Covid-19 to stand down employees to manage cashflow. Employees will continue to accrue annual leave and other entitlements and at the same time apply for Centrelink allowances.

Standing down employees

An employer may stand down an employee during a period in which the employee cannot usefully be employed because of a number of circumstances including:

  • industrial action (other than industrial action organised or engaged in by the employer)
  • a breakdown of machinery or equipment, if the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for the breakdown, or
  • a stoppage of work for any cause for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible.

COVID-19 restrictions fall under the category of “a stoppage of work for any cause for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible”.

What is employee entitled to

Stood down employees will continue to accrue entitlements to annual leave and personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards, as well as entitlement to a public holiday that falls on a day the employee has ordinary hours of work.

Stood down employees can apply to the JobSeeker payment of $1,100 per fortnight and applications may be completed online via MyGov, phone or in person at a Centrelink branch.

Read more from the Fair Work Commission

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