Updated 19 Aug 2022Print this page

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, (FW Act) there are specific criteria that need to be met before an employer can apply the stand down provisions. The effect of these provisions are that an employee can be stood down without pay for the period of the stand down.

Where an employee cannot be usefully employed because of one of the following circumstances, stand down may occur:

  • 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;
  • A stoppage of work for any cause for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible.

It is important to note that where an employee is covered by an enterprise agreement or a contract of employment which contains stand down provisions, these instruments should be consulted.

In some instances the enterprise agreement or contract of employment may contain a broader range of circumstances that an employer can rely on to stand down an employee. There may also be terms in either of the instruments that impose additional obligations on employers before standing an employee down, such as consultation or notice.

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