Coronavirus (COVID-19) - No sick leave on stand down

In a decision that will be welcomed by Employers during the Coronavirus crisis, the Federal Court today has accepted that Qantas has the right not to pay its employees paid personal/carer's (sick) leave whilst they are stood down during the Coronavirus crisis. This decision will provide some welcome financial relief to Employers that have stood down employees as part of this crisis, and provide an assurance that they will not be in breach of the National Employment Standards as a result.

Qantas' argument that it only has to pay employees their paid personal/carer's leave if they still had work to perform was accepted by the Federal Court. The Federal Court found that paid personal/carer's leave was by its characterisation a form of income protection which presupposes an employee is in receipt of income. As a result, Qantas does not need to pay personal/carer's leave to some 20,000 of its employees who have been stood down during the crisis.

At this stage, the relevant airline unions have indicated that they are considering an appeal. We will update the Blog shoudl this occur.