As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across Australia and the first hints of a return to a somewhat-normal life begin to appear, many businesses are preparing to transition their staff back to the workplace.
However, even in this new re-opening phase of the pandemic, limitations still exist which create logistical issues for businesses, meaning it will be some time before workplaces return to complete pre-COVID normality.
A new public health order was implemented by the NSW Government on 15 May which softened some lockdown restrictions while maintaining others. Two key restrictions that apply to businesses in NSW contemplating a return to the workplace are:
In addition to the Government’s public health order, employers need to consider additional government advice from bodies such as Safe Work Australia. The Government has also announced 10 ‘National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles’ to assist in managing work health and safety risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do the Safe Workplace Principles affect businesses?
The Safe Workplace Principles should be used as a guide to create and implement a Return to the Workplace Plan, with the objective of minimising the spread and incidence of COVID-19.
The Safe Workplace Principles are available on the Safe Work Australia website here.
The situation continues to be highly dynamic with restrictions continually updated. Businesses need to constantly monitor the situation and be ready to adapt their plans based on new advice.
With more than 60 years’ experience in commercial law, Tonkin Drysdale Partners is here to offer supportive and decisive advice to help local businesses through the current challenge.