Working in Extreme Conditions – What’s the Limit?
Australian summers are hot – extremely hot – so what happens if staff need to be sent home due to extreme weather conditions?
Whether an employee is entitled to a full days pay when they are unable to be ‘usefully’ employed due to factors outside an employer’s control is subject to the award, enterprise agreement, or contract of employment. As such, a modern award may provide payment where the employee is unable to perform work due to factors such as the weather.
Outsourcing payroll to a managed payroll service such as PaysOnline ensures that you’re fulfilling your obligations as an employer and gives you access to several tools that will benefit your business.
Flexibility arrangements – modern awards
All modern awards include a flexibility term enabling an employer, individual employees, and/or a majority of employees in a particular enterprise to amend terms of the award through a ‘flexibility arrangement’, providing the employee is not disadvantaged in comparison to the award.
If, in the absence of a flexibility arrangement, there may be a provision in the award to ensure that a degree of flexibility is obtained. Alternatives to working may include – a bank of rostered days off, time off in lieu of overtime, offering access to forms of paid leave such as annual leave or long service leave.
According to an article published by Marshall & Burn (2018), over the past four years to July 2016 in New South Wales there were 504 workers compensation claims for heat stroke, fatigue and skin cancer costing more than 7 million dollars. There are several other health and safety issues that come along with working in the heat including possible fatigue, feeling physically weak, slower reaction times and poor judgement (2018).
According to WHS Regulation 2017, there is no precise temperature – hot or cold – where employees should stop working. However, employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are working without risk.
You can find out more information on your award over on the Fair Work website – here
For more information on outsourcing payroll to PaysOnline contact us today for a quick quote!
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