As we learn to live with COVID-19, it is important that employers keep up to date with all government information and business restrictions (including Public Health Orders).
Some businesses, more than others are negatively affected by the impacts of COVID-19. Whatever is the case, it is important that all employers understand their responsibilities and obligations.
The issues that COVID-19 and business restrictions and other government directives bring to the employment relationship are complex legal issues. Therefore, we encourage employers to be considered in their approach so as to minimise risks such as:
- Unfair dismissal claims
- General protections claims
- Discrimination complaints
- Underpayment of wages and/or entitlements claims
- Unlawful stand downs
- Contravention of industrial instruments (modern award or enterprise agreement)
- Contravention of COVID Safe plans
- Workers’ compensation claims
Aitken Legal recommends that employers take legal advice before:
- Terminating an employee’s employment (e.g. for redundancy)
- Standing down employees (see Key Issues)
- Implementing working from home arrangements (see Key Issues)
- Changing employee terms and conditions of employment (e.g. reducing hours of work / reducing remuneration)
- Communicating or incentivising employee COVID-19 vaccination
- Mandating COVID-19 vaccination
Business Restrictions During COVID-19
Employers can access information about business restrictions in all jurisdictions throughout Australia that their business operates here.
- Australian Government COVID-19 government assistance for business – click here
- State and territory information, grants and assistance – click here
- SafeWork Australia – COVID-19 information for workplaces – click here
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To contact one of our specialist Employment Lawyers, either complete our online contact form or call us on (07) 5413 4000.