We’ve all watched as the coronavirus hit the world and then shuddered as it came closer to home. Now Melbourne is in Stage Four lockdowns and the reality of a second wave, and its potential effects, has arrived.
Victoria is a clear example of the impact a spike in the virus can have. Currently, Victorians living in the Stage 4 zone are only able to travel within 5 km from home with more businesses closing as employers struggle to stay afloat in such challenging conditions.
The disruption in Victoria and the potential for future disruptions across the rest of Australia could lead to more staff stand-downs and redundancies. That’s why you need to prepare now.
Are all your ducks in a row?
While the last thing on any business owner’s mind right now is paperwork, not having your ducks in a row could cause further harm in the future.
The reality is, you need to have the right paperwork, contracts, agreements, awards and policies in place to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. There’s also a real possibility that changes or adaptations to what was in place pre-COVID may not have been recorded to reflect current arrangements.
Updating this essential employee paperwork can protect your business and backup your decisions or actions. For example, if you have made changes to an employee’s role or hours due to coronavirus, it needs to be recorded. You also need to ensure you have all the correct records for employees receiving JobKeeper payments. These records need to be kept for seven years.
The role of a Workplace Audit
To ensure you are doing the right thing with all your contracts, agreements, awards, policies and records, we recommend you undertake a Workplace Audit. The purpose of a Workplace Audit is to prevent people problems arising and to protect your business.
Not knowing whether you have everything up-to-date and correct (in other words, not performing an audit), can leave your business open to future claims and disputes.
A Workplace Audit will:
- Identify any gaps so your contracts, agreements, and policies can be adapted to protect your business moving forward
- Examine your employment contracts to assess whether the right policies exist (for example, workplace health and safety checks for remote workers)
- Check if your current policies align with the temporary changes to awards in light of the coronavirus
While a Workplace Audit is relevant at any time, there’s an increased risk right now thanks to the complexity of managing employees during such an unpredictable and challenging time.
Get expert HR advice and support
Protect yourself and your business by enlisting expert HR support from us and let’s talk about whether a Workplace Audit could provide your business with additional protection.