In brief - With hourly updates on infection rates and with limited consistent advice about the epidemic, it can be hard to know how employers should respond. This article provides information for the education, health services and aged care, transport, and construction and mining industries, and the obligations employers have to employees, including leave and stand downs, legislative requirements and business continuity planning.
What we know about COVID-19
In the general population COVID-19 presents as a minor illness. The most concern should be held for people who don't have access to good medical care, those over 70 years of age and those with underlying illness or disease (particularly respiratory illness or heart disease ('high risk groups')). People who are working in front line medical roles, in aged care, disability & community services and education might also be at higher risk of repeated exposure.
For this reason, it is important that employers keep up to date with the latest information. As a starting point, employers should be regularly checking the World Health Organisation website, the Federal Government website and State Health Department websites for the most up to date information.
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This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2020.