COVID-19 employers and employees

COVID-19: What it means for Employers and Employees

April 14, 2020 | By Caroline Robertson, Vitil People Solutions

Are you a small business in Perth struggling to make sense of everything that is happening with COVID-19? Are you wondering what you can do to manage your business and your Employees in this difficult and challenging time?

This article touches on just some of the most common questions we have received and how we recommend managing them.

How do we manage leave entitlements for an Employee who has contracted COVID-19 or been in contact with a person who has this?

Personal leave can be used in this situation however once that is exhausted, leave without pay would be the next option. It is important to remember that anyone who has contracted COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has this, will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. If the Employee has any accrued annual leave or long service leave, you may wish to suggest this as a solution to relieve any financial strain that may be experienced from leave without pay. This is an unprecedented situation and being flexible can help to reduce the stress and anxiety that most people will be experiencing at this time.

Note: recent update by the government suggests that legislation will change to allow two weeks unpaid pandemic leave as well as employees being able to take double the duration of annual leave at half pay.

How do we manage Employees who have returned from overseas travel?

Employees who have returned from overseas travel will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, using their annual leave or long service leave if they have any. If they are unwell and have accrued personal leave, they can use this. It is recommended to come to some form of agreement with your Employee as to how the situation will be managed and review this regularly. Any agreement should be put in writing.

Another point to consider is could the Employee perform their job role or some of their job role whilst being self-quarantined at home? If they can, then an agreement can be reached around this, which may involve working part-time and taking leave for the remainder or reducing their working hours.

What should I do if I have to shut down my business temporarily due to reasons outside my control?

If you have to make this decision, you can stand-down your team. However, with the JobKeeper stimulus this will allow you to at least pay your team during this time and we would suggest you get them to work whilst they are receiving the $1,500 per fortnight.

The aim of the JobKeeper stimulus is so that you can maintain your team during this temporary period so that when business does return to normal, your team will be ready to hit the ground running without time wasted on recruitment. You may even use this time to ‘pivot’ your business in a different direction. Talk to your team, brainstorm potential opportunities so that you can adjust your business to respond to the needs of the ‘new normal.’

Vitil Outsourced HR Support

Vitil People Solutions is a boutique Human Rresources consulting firm based across Perth, who offer flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced HR support, people solutions and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. Talk to the experts in these trying times. Our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment and help with change implementation.

Contact us to discuss tailoring HR solutions to your business needs.

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