The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Currently, Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19. Whether because of the actual virus, or the media hype surrounding it; there will be significant impacts on Australian business.

Options for Reducing Payroll Costs (Without Losing Your Most Valuable Assets)

Our clients are increasingly asking what their options are for reducing their business expenses and often payroll is one of their major costs.  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the need to reduce costs, employers may be able to consider steps such as genuine redundancy or stand-down of employees.  The downside to these measures though, is the loss (or potential loss) of valued team members.  So we are encouraging businesses to explore alternative approaches to working as a team to make the changes that are less drastic to reduce the impact on your businesses and your people.

To access our latest information on this, please use the link below

Temporary Updates to Modern Awards

Fair Work has released updates to a number of Modern Awards and more are likely to come.  These Covid-19 related changes are designed to give greater flexibility to working arrangements in light of the changing landscape of how employees are engaged.

The changes impact 3 Awards at this point:  the Clerks Private Sector Award; the Hospitality Industry (General) Award; and the Restaurant Industry Award.  Below are the links to our summary of the temporary changes in each of these Awards.

Fair Work is also pushing for special 'Pandemic Leave' to be inserted into 103 Award along with the flexibility to take annual leave at half pay and this may come into play as early as 8 April 2020.  

An Overview of Covid-19 Business Considerations

Businesses are facing a situation where they need to be preparing for and balancing considerations in relation to:

  • the legislation surrounding the implication on employee leave
  • alternative working arrangements
  • business interruption risk measures
  • isolation of employees (either required or precautionary)
  • communication with employees

To access our whitepaper on these matters please use the link below.

Useful External Links

FairWork has set up a useful site summarising a lot of the FAQs about the impacts of Covid-19 in the workplace.  Please keep in mind that this is general information - if you are seeking specific assistance please contact Focus HR on 4765 3456.

Click here for more information

Useful information relating to WorkCover's approach to Covid-19 claims is available on the worksafe QLD website:

Click here for more information

Information from Workplace Health and Safety QLD can be found on the worksafe QLD website:

Click here for more information

We recommend making sure that any of your staff impacted by Covid-19 i.e. that you need to stand-down, reduce casual hours for or make redundant, are aware of the government support available to them.  This is a useful link:

Click here for more information

Listen to Naomi's plain English take on stand downs for employers and how they might apply in the current Covid-19 environment.

Check out Naomi Wilson's coverage on the practical elements of having people working from home and how businesses can tackle these.

Naomi Wilson discusses what business should be considering as alternatives to the more drastic or permanent measures of stand down and redundancies in today's business climate.

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