26 April 2012
In some circumstances, an employer can ‘stand down’ an employee without pay.
Under the Fair Work Act, an employer can stand down employees when work stops for a reason that’s outside their control. Examples of situations when a stand down can happen include:
- machinery or equipment breaks down
- there is a natural disaster that affects the business
During a stand down, while the employee is still employed by the business, they aren’t required to work and aren’t entitled to be paid. Modern awards and agreements may also have their own stand down provisions – so it’s important you check to see if there are any other rights or obligations.
If the stand down provisions don’t apply then an employee is entitled to be paid wages - even if they aren’t working.
What about leave?
Annual leave and personal leave keep accruing while an employee has been stood down.
An employer and employee can agree to take paid leave during a stand down, rather than not being paid at all for the time.
You’ll find more about stand downs, including what happens when there’s a dispute about a stand down, on the Temporary closures page.