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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In light of the evolving global coronavirus pandemic, the team at HR Assured has created this page which is dedicated to supporting business owners and HR managers. The content on this page aims to address some sensitive issues many businesses are facing in these uncertain times. Now more than ever, we will navigate this situation together. If there are things you need from us or additional ways we can support you, please let us know.

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Online business forum: JobKeeper 2.0 Q&A
event
September
3
Location: Zoom online
Time: 12:30pm
Wes O'Donnell National Workplace Relations Manager will be addressing the following topics:
• Eligibility for the JobKeeper 2.0 payment
• High Court Decision in the Monedlez matter
• Fair Work Commission Full Bench decision on casual employees entitlement to overtime payments
• Your questions.
Business Q&A forum: Victoria Stage 4 Restrictions
event
August
12
Location: Zoom online
Time: 12:30PM
We know that the situation with COVID-19 in Victoria is incredibly concerning, and now that stage 4 lockdown restrictions are in effect, many businesses are having to make some difficult decisions.
Week in Review – complimentary webinar for businesses
event
July
17
Location: Zoom online
Time: 12:30PM
Wes O'Donnell National Workplace Relations Manager will be addressing the following topics:
• An understanding of the key priorities of the FWO;
• Changes to the Compliance and Enforcement Policy;
• JobKeeper review;
• Widening of the pandemic and arising economic restrictions; and
• Tips to audit your business and avoid underpayment issues and accidental wage theft.
JobKeeper 2.0 Explained – Q&A session
Wes O'Donnell, National Workplace Relations Manager.
Video
Get up to speed on COVID-19
Common questions from business owners.

Video
Christmas parties in a COVID-19 world; 3 things to consider
With the silly season fast approaching, it’s no surprise then that your employees will be looking forward to the end of year events. While many employers have decided to put a hold on the annual Christmas shindig (thanks COVID-19), there are some who have decided to celebrate with their staff and host a party.

If your business has decided to celebrate 2020, it’s a good idea that employers proceed with extra caution. Here I point out a few things to consider.
Article
How to manage risks in a remote working environment
Working from home (WFH) may offer a dream lifestyle for many workers, but, for employers, those simple words can sometimes add extra stress to an already difficult job in employee and business management.
Article
Coronavirus update 23 November 2020 – Victoria’s restrictions ease further
On Sunday 22 November 2020, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that COVID-19 restrictions would ease further after the state recorded zero new cases in the past three weeks. After months of hard restrictions and currently, just one active case of COVID-19 in the state, it’s looking positive that Victorians can enjoy a somewhat “normal” holiday season.
Article
Coronavirus update 18 November 2020 – SA enters ‘circuit-breaker’ restrictions
In the last week, South Australia has experienced a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. In response to the outbreak, on 18 November 2020, the South Australian Government announced it would impose COVID-19 restrictions to attempt to avoid a ‘second wave’ leading into the Christmas and Holiday Period and prevent further spread.
Article
Coronavirus update 9 November 2020 – Melbourne’s ‘ring of steel’ removed
Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Melbourne will now be subject to the same coronavirus restrictions as the rest of Victoria as of 11:59 PM Sunday 8 November 2020.
Article
3 tips to consider before returning to location-based work arrangement
As restrictions begin to ease in most states, it’s only natural that employees will start returning to the workplace. If you’re an employer, however, you need to consider a few things before directing your employees to return to work.
Article
Managing difficult conversations remotely
There will be times when an employer needs to have a difficult conversation with a remote employee, which can raise some issues about how to conduct such meetings effectively and appropriately.
Article
Coronavirus update 26 October 2020
Today, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the state would ease lockdown restrictions as of 11:59 PM on Tuesday 27 October 2020, after the state recorded zero new cases on Monday 26 October. It’s been 12 weeks since Victorians went into lockdown.
Article
Performing split shifts under the Fitness Industry Award
Owning and operating a gym or fitness centre has always come with its challenges, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the complexities of running a business in the fitness industry have increased ten-fold as. On top of ensuring your premises are safe for your patrons and staff, you still need to ensure your business is compliant under the Fitness Industry Award 2010 (Award).
Article
Coronavirus update 19 October 2020
Over the weekend, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that the State has “a little longer to go” until COVID normal, however, announced the easing of Melbourne’s Stage 4 restrictions. So, what does this mean for employers and employees in Victoria? Let’s find out…
Article
Coronavirus update 28 September 2020 – lockdown restrictions ease in Victoria
On Sunday 27 September 2020, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews, announced the easing of restrictions under the existing ‘road map’. This is a positive step for the state as COVID-19 cases are slowly reducing. So, what does this mean for employers and employees in Victoria? Let’s find out…
Article
A pandemic is no excuse: how to get the basics right in 2020
The basics of being compliant are about employing and paying your people correctly according to who they are, the way you employ them and any legislation, contracts or agreements governing them; it’s about keeping proper records and payslips, having a safe workplace and following fair and legally compliant procedures when dealing with your employees – about fulfilling your lawful obligations.
Article
JobKeeper 2.0 Amendment passes Federal Parliament
On Tuesday 1 September 2020, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) passed the Federal Parliament. The Bill extends the JobKeeper payment scheme and the temporary JobKeeper provisions of the Fair Work Act (Cth) 2009 (FW Act), until 28 March 2021, in a revised form.
Article
Your questions answered: Victoria stage 4 restrictions
On 12 August 2020, Nick Tindley, Head of Workplace Relations and Advisory at HR Assured and Law Partner at our parent company, FCB Group hosted a webinar where he addressed Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions and what this means for businesses. On the day, Nick received an overwhelming amount of questions. Given the importance of the topic, Nick has handpicked some of the questions he didn’t get to answer and has responded to them here.
Article
PPE in the workplace: advice to create a coronavirus-free working environment
It’s become clear that coronavirus is not going away anytime soon and that as individuals and businesses, we will need to remain vigilant to protect the health and safety of ourselves and our people. We’ve had may clients contact our Telephone Advisory Service, asking a variety of questions related to COVID-19, Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace – they want to clarify their rights and obligations as employers. In this blog, our Workplace Relations Consultant Fizzah Usama provides her advice on this hot topic.
Article
Businesses open during Victoria’s restrictions must have a COVID-19 Safe Plan
If your business is exempt from closing and is able to remain open throughout Victoria’s stage 4 lockdown restrictions, then there are specific requirements you must follow.
Article
Permitted worker scheme now effective
From 11:59 pm, Wednesday 5 August 2020, some workplaces around Melbourne closed as a result of stage 4 lockdown restrictions. Only a workplace which is part of a “permitted activity” are able to remain open. All Melbourne residents who are required to leave home for work must carry a work permit which must be presented to law enforcement on demand.
Article
Coronavirus update 6 August 2020 – stage 4 restrictions in Victoria
Despite Victoria’s effort to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases by reintroducing stage 3 restrictions, coronavirus is currently winning the fight and forcing Victoria to take more extreme measures to control this pandemic.
Article
JobKeeper 2.0: preparing for the unknown
As we hurtle towards the end of the first stage of JobKeeper, it’s time for businesses to look to the future – as uncertain as it may be – to ensure they not only survive, but thrive, in the new world that 2021 will bring.
Article
Changes to NSW Workers Compensation Legislation: Employment is now presumed to have caused workers to contract COVID-19
In recognition of the heavy legislative burden on employers to ensure their employees’ health and safety while at work as far as, is reasonably practicable under existing work health and safety laws, the NSW Government has modified the workers compensation legislation to place fault on the shoulders of certain employers where their employees contract COVID-19.
Article
Government confirms JobKeeper scheme to be extended but with changes
Prime Minister Scott Morison this afternoon announced the JobKeeper scheme will be extended until March 2020. Here's everything you need to know...
Article
A safe working environment – how far does an employer’s liability extend?
Employers have obligations under Work Health & Safety legislation to do whatever is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace.
Article
Coronavirus update 7 July 2020 – Victoria moves back to Level 3 restrictions
Just when Australians were beginning to transition into a “coronavirus normal”, Victoria has seen an alarming and unacceptable spike in newly confirmed coronavirus cases which has forced the State into “fight” mode.
Article
Tips to support employees with young families during the pandemic
As lockdown restrictions ease across the country, we’re now seeing schools and childcare facilities reopen. And while it’s true that most employees with young families will no longer need to educate or care for their children from home, there may be other circumstances which arise that may impact some employees and their working commitments.
Article
10 HR initiatives to connect your disconnected workforce
We’ve put together a list of HR initiatives designed to help you build culture and make your disconnected workforce more connected.
Article
COVID-19 causes unprecedented spike in unfair dismissal claims
Since COVID-19 hit, the Fair Work Commission has experienced a 70% spike in unfair dismissal cases...
Article
A guide to WH&S and returning to the workplace amidst a crisis
To help you get your people safely back to work, we‘ve prepared a ‘Transitioning back to the workplace’checklist outlining the steps businesses should take to make their workplaces safe for returning employees.
Article
Government announces JobMaker plan
Today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a post-pandemic economic plan ‘JobMaker’, to raise Australia’s suffering economy out of the “ICU”.
Article
Redundancy – part 5: payment entitlements
How to compliantly proceed with a redundancy – part 5: payment entitlements
Article
Redundancy – part 4: redeployment
How to compliantly proceed with a redundancy – part 4: redeployment
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Redundancy – part 3: consultation obligations
How to compliantly proceed with a redundancy – part 3: consultation obligations
Article
Redundancy – part 2: operational requirements
How to compliantly proceed with a redundancy – part 2: operational requirements
Article
Redundancy – part 1: overview
How to compliantly proceed with a redundancy – part 1: overview
Article
Government announces a framework to ease lockdown restrictions
Today, National Cabinet announced a three-stage framework for relaxing coronavirus restrictions in Australia in an effort to restart the economy – these measures will be reviewed by the Government every three weeks.
Article
COVID-19 disputes before the Fair Work Commission
A new jurisdiction of dispute resolution to be managed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Article
Pandemic not an excuse to avoid consultation obligations
Businesses seeking to undertake redundancy processes for staff due to economic downturn and lack of work associated with the COVID-19 must meet consultation obligations
Article
Pandemic Leave inserted into modern awards
The Fair Work Commission has temporarily inserted a new Schedule into 99 modern awards, which allows for Pandemic Leave, and the ability for employees to take twice as much annual leave at half pay.
Article
Australian Government released JobKeeper Rules
Over the Easter long weekend, the Australian Government released the JobKeeper payment Rules which are outlined in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 (Rules) legislation.
Article
Social isolation and mental health
Anxiety, frustration, fear, boredom – these are just some of the feelings people are experiencing as Australians across the country practise social distancing and self-isolation to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People are separated from loved ones, socially isolated, and have had many of the freedoms we take for granted stripped away. In many cases, the challenges of social distancing have been compounded by reduced working hours and income, or income lost altogether due to stand down.
Article
Critical COVID-19 amendments FWA
In response to COVID-19, yesterday the Australian Government introduced legislation to temporarily amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) to assist employers and employees to work through the economic impact of COVID-19.
Article
JobKeeper payment Frequently Asked Questions
The Government has rolled out a suite of financial stimulus packages to support employers, employees and those who now find themselves out of work.
Article
JobKeeper wage subsidy Fact Sheet
In this Fact Sheet, we take a look at the new JobKeeper wage subsidy and what it means for businesses.
Article
Change to Clerks Private Sector Award
On 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) made a determination varying the Clerks Private Sector Award (Clerks Award). The determination inserted a special new COVID-19 flexibility schedule (Schedule I) which will have effect from 28 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Article
Government launches Coronavirus Australia app
Keeping up with the rapid changes of coronavirus (COVID-19) can feel like a full-time gig, and with so many media outlets reporting on the situation, how do you know which source of information is the most trustworthy and reliable?
Article
WHS and working from home
As an employer, you have a duty of care to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, even if that workplace is their own home!
Article
Coronavirus update 23 March 2020
Employer stand down measures.
Article
Working from home
How to survive (and thrive) when working from home
Article
Social Distancing & Workplace Practices
The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to bring massive change to every workplace.
Article
3-minute masterclass
ebook
Managing staff leave entitlements
ebook

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