The Hospitality Messenger

Special Edition No.6

The Hospitality Messenger is very conscious of WA’s liquor, hospitality, event and tourism industries being hit hard by the current COVID-19 situation and is committed to providing as much support as possible.

Take-away liquor volume restrictions – reviewed

There has been talk throughout the industry and the general public over the last two weeks as to various issues associated with the new temporary take-away liquor volume restrictions.

The restrictions introduced on 25 March 2020 have been reviewed with the following message from the Director of Liquor Licensing today:

While I appreciate the restrictions are presenting some challenges for small business operators in Western Australia, the original objective to ensure Western Australia is well prepared to respond to COVID-19 and minimise alcohol-related problems in the community remains a priority for the Government.

The quantity restrictions will therefore remain in force unchanged and will be reassessed in one month.

However, a number of concessions and alternate arrangements have been put in place to address some of the issues around bulk purchasing of liquor in certain circumstances.  In this regard, wine producers are now able to sell a case of wine per customer per week and licensees in remote areas of the state can apply for an occasional licence to facilitate the sale of larger quantities of liquor to station owners etc

Good Friday trading

 Liquor trading restrictions apply tomorrow, Good Friday.  With the introduction of the recent

take-away liquor occasional licence, the licensing authority has released a reminder of the restrictions and a useful summary of what is permissible under the temporary take-away occasional licences.   Click here to access that.  Licensees are urged to comply.         

New Code of Conduct – commercial and retail leases

Many operating in the hospitality industry in Western Australia will be affected by new laws regulating the conduct of landlords and tenants in relation to rental agreements in the current environment. The new Code of Conduct is said to continue for the period of operation of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper programme.  Click here to read Lavan’s summary of the new Code and how it may affect you.

Changes to the Restaurant Award

The Fair Work Commission has changed the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 in recognition of the impact COVID-19 and the related Government restrictions have had on the industry.  Changes are summarised as follows:

  • Employees can be directed to perform any duties within their skill and competency regardless of their classification, provided the duties are safe and the employee is licensed and qualified to do so.
  •  Higher duties will apply to employees engaged on duties carrying a higher rate than their normal rate.
  • Full-time employees can be directed to work an average of 22.8 - 38 ordinary hours per week and be paid on a pro rata basis.
  • Part-time employees can be directed to work an average of 60% - 100% of their guaranteed hours per week.
  • Subject to considering an employee’s personal circumstances, an employer may direct an employee to take annual leave with 24 hours’ notice.
  • Employers and employees can agree for the employee to take twice the annual leave at half the pay rate for all or part of the annual leave.
  • Employers can require an employee to take annual leave by giving at least one week’s notice as part of a close down of its operations, or any shorter period of notice that may be agreed.

At this stage, the changes will operate from 31 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, but may be extended.  They will hopefully assist employers in the hospitality industry during this difficult time

Prior to an employer directing an employee to work reduced average hours, the employer must consult with affected employee and the UWU (if they are a member of the UWU).

If you have any questions about the changes and how they may affect your business, please contact us.


During these tumultuous times there are some opportunities for those positioned to take advantage.  Various government authorities are likely to cut red tape.  The City of Perth has already taken such steps.

Government funding remains available for some projects.

  • Some landowners are now more open to developments and alternative rental arrangements that may not have been offered prior to COVID-19.
  • Favourable lending packages are expected to become available.
  • It is prudent to speak with government authorities, landlords and lenders now about opportunities that you might be able to avail yourself of.

Lavan has a centralised hub of various COVID-19 related information, much of which can assist those operating in the liquor, hospitality, tourism and event industries.  Click here to access.


Disclaimer – the information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice in relation to any particular matter you may have before relying or acting on this information. The Lavan team are here to assist.