Three Winning Strategies to Elevate Staff Performance
19 September 2023
As Victoria enters a new period of stage 4 restrictions, employers must consider the impact on their workplace. We have just received this notification from our lawyers Pointon Partners.
Reliance on JobKeeper Powers
For those employers receiving JobKeeper payments, now may be the time to rely on the extraordinary powers granted to employers, allowing them to:
Standing down employees that can be usefully employed
If a non-JobKeeper employer must shut down part or all of its operations during the lockdown and its employees cannot be usefully employed, the employer may be able to rely on the ‘stand-down’ provisions contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Section 524 of the Act provides that an employer may stand down an employee without pay when:
It is a requirement that there actually be a stoppage of work within the employer’s business outside the employer’s control and not merely just a slowdown in the patronage of the business.
OH&S Considerations during the Pandemic
WorkSafe Victoria introduced the temporary Occupational Health and Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020 which commenced on Tuesday 28 July 2020.
Previously, employers were not required to notify WorkSafe of an infectious disease in the workplace, unless immediate inpatient treatment was required or the disease is the cause (or suspected cause) of a death.
The current state of the disaster means that timely notification of potential workplace transmission is critical for the effective management of COVID-related health and safety risks.
The Regulations require that WorkSafe be notified if:
Those found to have breached the Regulations could be lumped with a fine of up to $39,652 for an individual or $198,264 for a company.
Worker permits for certain industries
As of midnight from the 5 August 2020, Victorian workers from permitted industries will be allowed to travel to or from work, even during the 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew.
Employees will be required to carry a worker permit, signed by them and their employer when they travel to their workplace. By signing the permit, each party will be making certain declarations, as set out below:
By signing the permit, the EMPLOYER:
By signing the permit, the EMPLOYEE:
POINTON PARTNERS are able to assist employers with relevant issues including a stand down, COVID-specific OH&S requirements and the availability of work permits for certain industries.
If you are not an APAN member, please join and we can assist you with a free service 07 55930360 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can reach out to POINTON PARTNER LAWYERS direct phone 03 9614 7707.