Considerations for vulnerable people
National Cabinet has endorsed the advice that workers classified as vulnerable must undergo a risk assessment and be redeployed to non-customer-based roles where possible. Where risk cannot be appropriately mitigated, arrangements should be considered to accommodate a workplace absence.
People classified as vulnerable are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 50 years and older with 1 or more chronic medical conditions
- those aged 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
- those aged 70 years and older
- those with compromised immune systems.
For more information, visit the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommendations for managing vulnerable workers.
Employer FairWork obligations
Fair Work Ombudsman provides information about how COVID-19 is impacting workplace laws, and lists updates on changes to legislation that impact the rights of your workers and your responsibilities as an employer. This includes how you can manage leave entitlements and when you can stand down an employee without pay.
Flexible long service leave arrangements
Under amendments to the Long Services Leave Act 1995 and by agreement with you as the employer, your employees can now take long service leave in shorter blocks, such as one day a week, without the one-month notice period traditionally required. For details, visit NSW Industrial Relations.
Health information for employers
For a COVID-19 information fact sheet for employers that answers question such as, can your staff attend work and how can you help prevent the spread of the virus, see the Department of Health's information for employers.
National COVID-19 safe workplace principles
The National Cabinet has announced 10 workplace safety principles to help business and workers minimise risk of exposure and limit the spread of COVID-19. Visit National COVID-19 safe workplace principles.
Safe Work Australia also has a national guide for safe workplaces to help business owners meet their work health and safety responsibilities in relation to COVID-19.
Pandemic leave diaster payment
If one of your workers has been directed by NSW Health to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, or they need to care for someone who has COVID-19, they may be eligible for the Australian Government’s lump sum Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
SafeWork guide and reporting for workplaces
Resources and education for businesses about prevention and preparedness for, response to and recovery after COVID-19 are available at SafeWork's Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice and guidance for NSW workplaces.
State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)
SIRA (State Insurance Regulatory Authority) has a range of incentives to help employers support injured workers as they continue their recovery during COVID-19.
- JobCover6 program offers financial incentive to employers who provide short-term work opportunities to help injured workers who are looking to gain new employment during COVID-19
- Connect2work program offers financial support to employers who provide work placements to assist workers who are unable to recover at their pre-injury workplace or are looking to gain new work skills during COVID-19
- Recover at Work Assist program for small business continues to help employers overcome financial hardship when providing suitable work to help their worker recover at work
Visit SIRA’s COVID-19 hub for employers for more information.
SIRA’s Small Business Assist tool assists employers navigate their workers compensation obligations during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
For questions about workers compensation premiums, reopening your business safely, COVID-19 safety for vulnerable or at-risk workers or other workers compensation issues, call the SIRA Recovery Advisory Service hotline for employers on 131 050.
Support for workers
Individual workers in your business may need extra support during this time. To help them get the help they need, visit NSW Government COVID-19 updates for businesses and employees.
Support to retain apprentices and trainees
Eligible businesses that employ apprentices or trainees may apply for a subsidy of 50% of the worker's wages paid until 31 March 2021. For eligibility criteria and more information visit Supporting apprentices and trainees.
For information and guidance on how best to manage workers’ compensation and COVID-19, including how to protect your workers and paying your premiums, visit icare coronavirus information for employers.