Pay during stand down & severe weather

Stand down

An employer can send employees home if there is no useful work for them to do because of:

  • equipment break down
  • natural disaster (including floods, bushfires, tropical cyclones)
  • industrial action.

This is known as a stand down. This can only happen if the reason for the stand down was out of the employer's control.

Employees can't be stood down just because there is not enough work.

Pay during stand down

An employee is not paid during a stand down period.

Best practice tip

An employee is not paid during a stand down period. However, an employer can be flexible and consider other options that will allow an employee to be paid.

The employer can consider letting employees:

  • take a period of paid leave, such as annual leave
  • work at another location such as from home or another work site.

Shut down

Shut down is when a business temporarily closes during slow periods of the year, such as Christmas and New Year.

Pay during shut down

Employees can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down and are paid annual leave entitlements.

Check out our Direction to take annual leave during a shut down page for more information.

Inclement or severe weather

Inclement weather is when it is unsafe or unreasonable for an employee to work because of severe weather conditions.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can set out:

  • what inclement weather includes
  • what employees and employers have to do when there is inclement weather.

If an employer stands down an employee because of a natural disaster, they don't have to make inclement weather payments. 

Find information about inclement weather procedures in your award by selecting from the list below.

Plumbing Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 [MA000036].

Inclement weather under the Plumbing Award can include:

  • rain
  • hail
  • extreme cold
  • high winds
  • severe dust storms
  • extreme high temperatures.

All employees (including casuals) have to be paid when sent home because of inclement weather conditions. The maximum amount that can be paid is 32 hours over a 4 week period. If an employee can’t work because of inclement weather, the time away from the job still counts as time worked.

However, an employee may still have to work during inclement weather, when there is an emergency to:

  • restore services or
  • secure or make a site safe.

If employees are required to work during inclement weather, they have to be paid at the rate of double time.

Check the Plumbing Award for:

  • information on how to decide if weather is inclement
  • what to do when an employee has to work during inclement weather
  • additional wet weather procedures.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Plumbing Award summary.

Source reference: Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 [MA000036] clause 21.10 external-icon.png

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Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.524 external-icon.png

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help for resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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