The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is an unprecedented social, political and economic environment. It is also a completely new environment for workplace relations practitioners. Our systems and many key principles must now be challenged. There are new opportunities to work in different and more co-operative ways and new demands on organisations.
To help businesses navigate this new environment, Matthew O’Callaghan (Workplace Relations Consultant and former Senior Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission) has written a detailed guide to the key workplace relations issues arising during this time.
Access the Guide to Workplace Relations Issues during the COVID-19 Outbreak on the CCH Pinpoint Employment, Work Health and Safety or Compliance and Business Law practice areas. The Guide is freely available, and access does not require a CCH Pinpoint subscription.
The guide covers:
- the “legal basics” – what laws apply?
- management and communication strategies
- employee safety issues and risk management
- changing work arrangements, including working from home, reducing employee hours or relocating employees
- the impact on enterprise agreements
- the impact on casual employees
- leave policies, including personal/carer’s leave, annual leave and long service leave
- the JobKeeper Payment scheme
- termination of employment and stand down
- workers’ compensation issues, and
- business reactivation planning.
The issues addressed in the guide are continually evolving and developing. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of suggested approaches that may be considered, these should not be taken as prescriptive or applicable in all circumstances. Matthew O’Callaghan’s observations are based on over 40 years of workplace relations experience and his current involvement in assisting businesses in the retail, manufacturing, transport, health and entertainment industries in dealing with the crisis. He is also actively involved in helping some public sector entities respond to COVID-19. These emerging experiences of different industries highlight the unique issues that are continually appearing. While there is no one right answer, Matthew O’Callaghan has identified important issues for consideration.