The Real Media Collective (TRMC) has secured the reinstatement of Schedule X in the Graphic Arts Printing and Publishing Award (GAPPA), providing greater support for businesses in the print and visual communications industry.
The move follows the recent spate of lockdowns across the country, after which TRMC called on the Fair Work Commission to reinstate Schedule X in July.
This has now been approved, securing a win for the industry.
Schedule X was originally inserted into most industry and profession Awards, including the industry’s Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award, in April 2020. The Schedule was initially installed as a temporary provision to navigate the COVID-19 period until June 30 last year, but got reinstated until 29 March this year following a push from TRMC.
“This is a much-needed option for many of our members, and broader industry, currently impacted across Australia,” TRMC CEO Kellie Northwood said.
“I want to thank our members who participated in not only this matter specifically, but also in our Industry Metrics Survey – the metrics we were able to include in our submission was significant in arguing the matter.
“I also want to thank (and welcome) our new members who joined in the previous quarter and immediately provided additional data to assist this process.”
The Commission has reinstated Schedule X in the Award in the same terms as previously applied and effective from the first full pay period that starts on or after 23 July 2021 and until 31 December 2021.
The Schedule in the Award covers two matters:
- Providing for unpaid pandemic leave of up to two weeks for an employee required by government or a medical authority to self-isolate for COVID related reasons; and
- Permitting an employer and employee to agree to an employee taking double the period of annual leave at the half-pay.
“In making our submissions to the Commission, TRMC and the various members we consulted with
agreed Schedule X continued to be a reasonable measure to assist employees through the COVID-19 period and there was merit in its reinstatement,” TRMC general manager of IR, policy and governance Charles Watson said.
“Given the recent lockdowns across Australia, and particularly the increased cases of COVID in the greater Sydney region.
“There is a clear need for supportive options to ensure businesses and their employees get through current difficult times. The reinstated Schedule X provisions provide businesses in the industry, along with their employees, additional options to assist businesses and employees who have been impacted by the recent lockdowns and should an employee is ordered into a period of isolation.
“Members are reminded that if those provisions of the Award are used, appropriate records be kept of any such agreement.”
Members are also advised to contact the Association directly for further advice, while others can access the public reports here.
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