Stood down without pay during COVID-19? Don't resign!

Have you been stood down without pay? Don’t resign until you've had legal advice, says RLC's employment law solicitor.

RLC has launched a new employment law comic series, providing legal tips for workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The first two editions of Employment Advice Woman look at what to do if you've been stood down from your job, or had your hours or pay reduced.

"Your employer has a duty to consult with you about changes to your job, and it is really important to get legal advice to protect your job and entitlements in this uncertain time," RLC employment solicitor, Sharmila Bargon says.

"By resigning, you could be putting your rightful workplace entitlements needlessly at risk."

While temporary stand-downs and redundancies affect all employees in a negative way, they have a disproportionately negative effect on international students and migrant workers.

RLC is assisting many people in these situations, both through its International Student Legal Service NSW, funded by Study NSW and Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), and its Employment Law Service, funded through FWO.

Free statewide support is also available through the Migrant Employment Legal Service, a joint initiative between Inner City Legal Centre, Marrickville Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre, and funded by NSW Government.

"It is also important that workers understand that an employee can't be stood down unless the whole workplace has ceased operating," Ms Bargon continues. “Employment contracts, modern awards and enterprise agreements might also impact on when an employee can be stood down.”

"This is a difficult time, and while it might not be the best option, for some people it will be better to take leave rather than being stood down or resigning."

If you live in the Redfern area or surrounding suburbs, contact RLC here or call Law Access on 1300 88 529 if you need help accessing us online.

If you are a migrant or on a temporary visa and you are living anywhere in NSW, get free confidential legal advice by calling the Migrant Employment Legal Service on 8002 1203 or at

Download RLC's employment law comic strip here

See also: Battling the COVID crisis? RLC's Employment Advice Woman can help!