COVID-19 – Protection Measures

Individuals and businesses worldwide are experiencing unprecedented consequences from the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our hearts go out to all affected and we wish anyone impacted by COVID-19 a safe and healthy recovery.

At BTLawyers, the safety of our staff and the community is of the highest priority.  You, our clients and colleagues, are our community and we have collated a raft of information which we hope and believe will be useful to you.

This is a fast-moving area and we will update and add to the information as new developments arise.

Working from home

Public health advice is to practice social distancing.  One measure which businesses are implementing is to enable staff members to work from home.  Employers are subject to the same occupational health and safety obligations whether their employees are working from home or the office.  In order to reduce or eliminate potential liability for workplace incidents employers should require employees who are going to work from home to complete the working from home self-assessment checklist (click here to Download editable Word Doc).

We encourage you to download this form and apply your logo to it.

Dealing with employees

Unfortunately, about two thirds of Australian businesses are unable to provide their employees with the opportunity to work from home and a significant number of those businesses face catastrophic financial times.  This outlook has seen huge numbers of people fired recently.  That number is likely to increase.

It is important for businesses to be aware of the options and obligations available to them.  A brief summary of these issues can be found here.

Stimulus initiatives – 23 March 2020

The Federal and State Governments have announced broad sweeping economic stimulus initiatives.  There will be more to come.

A summary of the recently announced stimulus initiatives can found here.

Update as at 30 March, 2019:

The Australian Government has provided notice of its intention to create another scheme to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic called “JobKeeper”. The JobKeeper payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. The aim is to ensure that employees are retained rather than terminated during the downturn of business, allowing that business to successfully restart once the pandemic has passed.

Click here for more information on the Jobkeeper Payment Stimulus Package

Changes to insolvency laws – 23 March 2020

The government has acted swiftly to adjust insolvency laws to encourage businesses to continue to trade and stem the tide of personal and corporate insolvency.

A summary of these changes to insolvency laws because of the Coronavirus can be found here.