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The employment law team has been assisting clients in traversing the issues that every employer will likely encounter following the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and has developed a quick reference guide.

The issues are varied and, in some instances, complex. We encourage you to seek assistance early to avoid falling foul of your legal obligations.

Issues that need to be considered include:

  • work, health and safety;
  • workplace policy;
  • workplace flexibility;
  • the potential impact on profitability;
  • business reputation; and
  • the treatment of periods of absence.

We also encourage you to consider the long-term impacts that the outbreak may have on your businesses and to plan early for those impacts. For those businesses who may need to “cut costs”, they must ensure that any measures that are implemented are compliant with workplace obligations. For example, be mindful of consultation obligations in awards and enterprise agreements and consider alternatives to redundancy such as agreements around reduced hours of work.