Part 3-5 of the Fair Work Act 2009 allows employers to stand employees down without pay in certain circumstances when employees cannot be usefully employed.
There are several alternatives that employers should explore prior to implementing a stand down. Other options include transfer to other work locations (including working from home), work-share arrangements, and any alternative duties that may be available that the employee could be usefully employed to perform.
An enterprise agreement or contract of employment may include additional requirements in relation to the way a stand down can be implemented (eg. it could require things like consultation or a notice period).
If no options are available to keep the employee usefully employed, and an employer elects to implement a stand down, a final alternative to going without pay is for an employee to access their accrued paid leave entitlements (e.g. annual leave).