Late yesterday afternoon Porter said some Australian employees would now be allowed to take two weeks' unpaid leave if they are required to self-isolate or are not able to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Separately, in a further measure, some employees in certain industries will also be allowed to take double their accrued annual leave, at half pay.
However, energy workers are not set to benefit from any of the changes which come into effect immediately.
The Hydrocarbons Field Geologist Award, Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award, Maritime Offshore Oil and Gas Award, Gas Industry Award, and the Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award will remain excluded from the 103 awards amended.
"You can see how those common-sense changes would allow the flexibility in a number of businesses, where flexibility could well make the difference between survival of the business and preservation of the jobs or the failure of the business and the loss of the jobs," Porter said during a press conference.
"The reform [is] temporary. It is meant to last for as long as the crisis lasts."
The reason the oil and gas worker awards have been excluded is because they remain relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Fair Work Commission.
This is despite mass layoffs across oil and gas sites in Australia. Woodside alone has stood down more than 400 employees across its operations, and Chevron is similarly looking to cut its workforce.