COVID-19 - Employer Obligations

As an employer there are a lot of uncertainties around the Coronavirus and particularly around your obligations to employees.

The Fair Work website has addressed some questions you may have, so we thought we would share this with you. Please note that the information is regularly updated so please check the page regularly.

Please click here: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws

Unfortunately these answers may not be 100% clear for all employers, so you may need to check industry awards and/or seek legal advice.

We have received some legal advice and can confirm that employers cannot:

  • Force staff to take any type of leave;
  • Ban overseas travel; or
  • Terminate staff without redundancy & notice payment.

Employers need to be careful if they choose to partly or fully shut down the operations of the business as employees are still entitled to be paid. It is recommended in the first instance to consider whether staff can work from home. More information about this is available on the Fair Work website link above.

If the Australian Government forces a lock down whereby your business cannot continue to operate, the Government should provide advice on employer obligations at that time. Employer obligations in this scenario are unprecedented and totally unknown right now.

We are aware that many businesses are feeling operational and financial pressures from the impact of the virus. Feel free to contact us as a first point of reference if you have any queries. We will do our best to assist during this challenging time.