What does it mean to be ‘stood down’ from your job?

Have you been “stood down”?

    What does being ‘stood down’ mean?

    Simply put, being ‘stood down’ means you stop working and you’re not paid, but you’re still employed by the business and have entitlements. Being stood down is temporary, and is different to being made redundant or being fired.

    Under the Fair Work Act, employers aren’t required to pay employees who are stood down.

    When you’re stood down without pay, you will still be employed by your employer and will accrue leave entitlements such as annual leave, long service leave and personal leave.

    Businesses affected by government COVID restrictions, particularly where there is a stay-at-home direction, may be able to lawfully stand down employees without pay. But they can’t stand down employees simply because the business is not doing as well as it was before.

    What are your rights during a stand down?

    Being stood down will affect some of your rights – while others remain untouched.

    Remember that being stood down doesn’t mean that your role is redundant. You’re still employed, but your employer is not required to pay your normal salary during the stand down.

    Check your contract, modern award or enterprise agreement. Some modern awards include specific provisions relating to leave during the COVID pandemic, including the ability to take extended annual leave at reduced pay.

    Whether the stand down occurred due to COVID or another reason, there are rules around what can and can’t be done during the stand down period.


    Outwest Legal was established to bring high quality and cost effective, legal services to the Greater Western Sydney Region.