At Lucent, we’re receiving an unprecedented, but unsurprising, number of questions from clients about their responsibilities regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and their staff.

 

 

In conjunction with our HR partners, Fair Work Lawyers and Employment Hero, we have compiled the following information around your obligations to staff as an employer – and some important considerations around a workplace stand down.

We hope this information might help you during these unprecedented times, but please note, this advice is general in nature.

Employer Obligations

Scenario Options
Employee is sick Personal leave (if available) or unpaid leave
Employee is not sick but must care for a member of their immediate family or household who is sick Personal leave (if available) or unpaid leave
Employee is not sick but refuses to come to work because of risk of infection • If no real risk of infection at work, unauthorised absence with no pay

• At your discretion, you may allow employee to take accrued leave (e.g. annual leave, long service leave)
Employee is not sick but cannot attend workplace because they are stuck overseas • Explore option to work remotely (if suitable)

• Allow use of accrued annual leave or long service leave

• Unpaid leave
Employee is not sick but is quarantined or self-isolated • Explore option to work remotely (if suitable)

• Allow use of accrued annual leave or long service leave

• Unpaid leave
Employee is not sick, but employer requires employee to stay away as a precautionary • Explore option to work remotely (e.g. from home, if suitable)

• Unless special circumstances exist, pay employee ordinary rate of pay for the shifts they would have done in that timeframe
Employer temporarily closes workplace due to actual or suspected case of Coronavirus • Explore option to work remotely (e.g. from home, if suitable)

• If not an option, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to place employees on unpaid leave

You can access below the information bulletin we received from Fair Work Lawyers. This provides comprehensive information on Coronavirus, Implications for Employers.

You can also access the Employment Hero COVID-19 Employer Pack contents from the links below.

 Detailed Personal Checklist

 Health Poster

 Flexible Working Policy

 Policy COVID-19

 Tips for WFH

Workplace Stand Down Procedure

Consideration Employer’s Options
What are the causes and do they justify a stand down? • The underpinning legal basis for a stand down needs to be carefully considered at this time

• Stand-downs cannot be pre-emptive
What work of value is available? • This requires an assessment of the cost of performing work and the benefits to the employer

• It may not be reasonable to redeploy on a particular day, but it may be reasonable to mobilise resources soon after
Are there alternatives? • Can employees take leave or other entitlements?
Is there any other available information? • If the cause for the stoppage is a Government decision, there will be some information that may be relevant to planning

• Please download the information bulletin below

Click below to access the information bulletin we received from Fair Work Lawyers, Coronavirus, Stand Down First Response.

Coronavirus – Stand Down First Response 18-3-20

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us:

Email:   rachael.turner@lucentadvisory.com.au

Phone:  08 8471 7007