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Business Owners Duties To Staff During Coronavirus COVID-19


Employers have duties to their staff to ensure that their health, safety and wellbeing are protected in the workplace. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, these duties must be maintained to the strictest of standards.

Employers must generally ensure that workplaces are free from health and safety risks, which will include the risk of infection from COVID-19 as to not do so, apart from risking the safety and wellbeing of their staff, may create liability under workplace laws including the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic). Business are strongly encouraged to review their policies and procedures as relating to health and safety and whether there is sufficient coverage of pandemics such as COVID-19. It is important to note here that a workplace is not limited to the four walls of an office but includes any place in which an employee conducts work-related activities. This may also include employees who work remotely, on job sites or from their home.

Employers must therefore stay up to date with all relevant information released by the State and Federal Governments and relevant health authorities (both domestically and internationally). Employers must then monitor and inform their staff on the changing circumstances regarding the virus, which includes adhering to the quarantine and self-isolation requirements.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of websites containing the most recent COVID-19 updates and restrictions which we strongly recommend employers and employees continually monitor:

Federal Government media releases

Victorian Premier media releases

Department of Health

Smart Traveller

The World Health Organisation (WHO)

The above has been provided for your information and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Advice may differ depending on a number of factors, including the continued updates from the government.

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