COVID-19 & the Workplace – IR Update

Emma Avey , 21 January 2022

As the Omicron strain continues to wreak havoc across the country, Emma Avey from Fair Work Lawyers provides timely advice on workplace issues, including WHS consultation with employees, Rapid Antigen Testing, and managing leave entitlements.

The new year has brought a new stream of pandemic issues, with the Omicron strain and debates around the use of RATs featuring prominently. As seems to be the case with everything COVID-related, this has led to new legal issues for employers to face.

Much like the rest of the questions in this pandemic, there is little precedent for the application of the law, and so we need to look at first principles. Many of the considerations are the same as the question about employees. You should refer to our previous updates for background, which the below discussion builds upon.

Note: this article only focuses on ‘first principle’ considerations. There are jurisdiction-specific rules, which are developing at great pace, that will interact with and/or override these principles. These could, for example, expressly permit or require certain actions to be taken. Where mandatory, such requirements must be complied with, and where recommended they should be complied with unless there are good reasons not to do so. If you are unsure of your obligations, please seek legal advice.

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