Skip navigation
Young Workers Centre YWC
News from young workers

COVID-19: Can my employer stand me down?

Q. Can my employer stand me down?

A. On 19th March 2020 Qantas stood down 20,000 workers.

It is possible for an employer to stand you down if the work has stopped and employer is not reasonably responsible for that happening. Qantas have said that the COVID-19 pandemic is out of their control and used that rationale to stand down their two-thirds of their workforce.

If you think there’s a chance of this happening get together with your workmates and negotiate with your employer now – it is best to negotiate early.

You could negotiate to take leave or reduce hours but only do this if there’s a genuine reason for work to have reduced and a possible stand down.