COVID-19 UPDATE - Employment perspective

The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world has not only been frightening to watch, but has also resulted in new restrictions and government directives being issued on a daily, even hourly basis.
As a result, employers have had to become constantly vigilant and reactive in dealing with an ever-evolving range of factors that continue to have a massive impact across all industries.

In particular, as certain businesses are required to close down and social distancing requirements increase, employers may find themselves grappling with an expanding series of challenges in managing their workforce and keeping their businesses viable.

Our Employment & Safety team have been assisting clients with a wide range of issues that have arisen as a result of COVID-19 across categories such as:

Workplace safety

  • Can employees be required to work from home?
  • Can an employee be directed to stay away from work if they are suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19?
  • Can an employee choose to not attend work as a precautionary measure?
  • Can you change employees’ hours of work or rosters to mitigate the impact of COVID?

Managing leave for employees who can’t attend work

  • Can employees be required to provide a medical clearance before returning to work if they have showed symptoms or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19?
  • Can employees be directed to take annual leave if they have to self-quarantine, or if the business is required to shut down?
  • What happens if an employee can’t attend work because their child’s school or childcare centre has had to close down?
  • What happens if an employee can’t attend work because of an interruption or shut down of services, such as public transport? 

Dealing with the economic impact

  • Under what circumstances can employees be stood down without pay?
  • What about managing casual employees and independent contractors?
  • What is the process if some positions need to be made redundant due to the economic impact of COVID-19?
  • What options are available if the business suffers a significant downturn as a result of COVID-19?

If you would like to speak with Ian Curlewis regarding any of the above issues, or any matter arising from the impact of COVID-19, please do not hesitate to call on 08 9288 6756 or email.