Natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and cyclones can cause devastation to communities, businesses and individuals. For information about pay and conditions during natural disasters check our Employment conditions during natural disasters and emergencies fact sheet.


What is a stand down?

A stand down is when an employee can’t do useful work because of:

  • equipment break down, if the employer isn’t responsible for it
  • industrial action, when it’s not organised by the employer
  • stoppage of work for which the employer can’t be held responsible, including severe and inclement weather or natural disasters.

Employers can’t stand an employee down just because the business is quiet or there isn’t enough work. Some awards, agreements and contracts have extra rules about when an employer can stand down an employee without pay. Check the List of awards to see if this applies to you.

An employer can’t stand down an employee if they’re on approved leave.


Pay during stand down

During a stand down period, an employee:

  • doesn’t need to be paid
  • accrues leave in the usual way

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