FCW Lawyers

COVID-19 Daily Brief | 26 March 2020

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We all know that Stage 3 is around the corner. We suspect tomorrow or Monday next week. Stage 3 will mostly likely be a stop on all non-essential services at their workplace (not affect remote work). The strategy around this is ensuring a key skeleton crew to keep relationships with staff, suppliers and creditors and using flexible work practices for these employees (variations to contracts). Your key group needs to be agile, focus on opportunities for now and the future and ensure the same re-emergence of the business.

The Stage 2 measures in place have seen a large number of businesses stand down their employees – see Qantas, Virgin and Crown. Virgin Australia is standing down 80% of its 10,000 employees and suspending 90% of its domestic flight capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virgin Australia is working with their partners Coles, Costco Australia, RSL LifeCare and recruitment group Black Wolf to identify short and long-term redeployment options.

Crown Resorts have ceased their gaming activities as well as food and beverage. This decision has affected around 20,000 employees.

On the supply chain side, the businesses are working with Unions to introduce health and safety measures for employees who may be impacted by container ships and fuel tankers delivering international supplies to the country foreign-owned and operated. Logistics will mostly be an essential service.

We are seeing businesses being impacted by the risk of a shut-down, supply shortages and the risk of infection to other employees. We are supporting all of our clients prepare for the worst and planning for the future through workplace flexibility initiatives that ensure continuity and sustainability, advice around leave entitlements and flexible use of leave and the inevitable standing down of employees. If you would like assistance please contact Andrew Douglas on 0488 151 503 to have a discussion on the various workplace flexibility options and the need to stand down your employees, and how to do this lawfully and respectfully.

Please join us at our COVID-19 webinar this Friday at 10:30 by clicking here. FCW Lawyers will be discussing the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and provide useful tips to assist you.