From Friday 14 October 2022, it is no longer mandatory to isolate if you test positive to COVID-19.
The removal of mandatory isolation does not impact on the duties of an employer to do all that is reasonably practicable to minimise the risks of COVID-19 at the workplace, including asking workers to stay at home when unwell.
Information on these pages is currently being reviewed and will be updated shortly.
Step 1 - What work can my small business do?
Start by finding out the rules and knowing your WHS duties.
Check what I'm allowed to do
You must follow the public health directions in your state or territory. Check what you are allowed to do for your type of business and make sure you can operate safely under these conditions.
Check I can keep my workers and customers safe
WHS laws require you to ensure the safety of your workers, yourself and any others in the workplace as much as you reasonably can. Check advice from your WHS regulator.
Step 2 - Plan and prepare to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic
Take time to think about new health and safety risks in your business. What could go wrong?
- Have I done everything I reasonably can to keep people (workers, customers, visitors and myself) at my workplace physically and psychologically safe during the pandemic?
- Have I consulted with my workers about the risks (new and existing) and how we can address them?
- Have I talked to the other businesses I work with or share a premises with?
- Does everyone know what to do if they become unwell (e.g. when to stay away from the workplace) or where to get help when they are having problems (e.g. mental health)?
- How have I kept myself, workers and customers safe in the past? And how has COVID-19 changed that (Are there any other new or changed risks I need to consider)?
- Have I trained my workers on new processes and equipment?
What will I do if someone gets COVID-19? What will I do if someone becomes unwell? Have I updated my risk assessment?
Talk to workers
What do I need to talk to workers about?
(E.g. ways to control risks, staying away when sick, training on new procedures)
Are my staff trained in what they need to do?
Prevent the spread
Distancing – how will I ensure people can keep physically apart?
Cleaning - How will I clean my workplace?
Hygiene – how do I prevent germs spreading?
Tell customers & businesses we work with
Have I updated information and let customers know about new arrangements? Have I put signs up about what to do?
Look out for each other
How will you and your workers take care of each other? How will you let each other know if there's a problem (e.g. reporting)?
Are workers or others (e.g. customers and visitors) in my workplace particularly vulnerable?
Step 3 - Monitor & review
Don’t set and forget - you must continue to make sure workers are safe and that you keep talking to them.
Keep up to date and follow public health and WHS advice.
Check for new risks
Isolated work & less support
Are staff now working alone or with less support? Are the ways we used to manage safety less effective? How will workers report issues/incidents? How will I proactively check they are ok?
Is our work causing stress (or a risk to mental health)? What can we do to reduce the stress?
Do I need to update WHS plans due to to changed processes and work? E.g. plant, chemicals, SWMS.
Are there new risks? E.g. are there risks from misusing personal protective equipment if not trained or of violence or aggression from customers?
For practical support and information on duties under other laws see business.gov.au and the COVIDSafe plan
Can I meet my duties under other laws?
- See the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission's small business tools and business.gov.au
- Pay and conditions
- Insurance such as workers' compensation
- Other laws in your state or territory such as emergency declarations.
Is there anything else I need to plan for?
- Have I talked to other business we with work with (e.g. suppliers) about how we can work safely together? Have I talked to other business in our building about keeping shared areas and facilities safe (e.g lifts and bathrooms)?
- Can my workers get to work safely? Can I support them to avoid congestion on public transport?
- Am I able to provide my workers with flexible work arrangements?
Where can I find other WHS information and support?
See the resources and support section for your industry, as well as the state and territory regulator websites:
Can't find what you're looking for?
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