The NSW Government has clarified a number of issues that addressed questions raised from it's earlier announcement of further restrictions to combat COVID-19. Set out below are some of the more popular questions (and answers) to assist you. If you require assistance with any “stand down without pay" advice please contact us.
Can my employees still come to work?
An employee may only attend their workplace if:
• the business is allowed to be open
• the employee cannot reasonably work from home.
Which businesses are allowed to be open?
A business is allowed to be open unless it has been ‘closed’ by the Government Health Orders.
Businesses that have been closed are in retail, construction and residential repairs, maintenance and services.
RETAIL: From Sunday 18 July 2021 most retail premises in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour are closed to the public.
Retail premises providing essential products and services that can be open are:
• grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable, seafood and other food retailers)
• kiosks and other small food and drink premises
• petrol stations
• liquor stores
• chemists providing health, medical, maternity and baby supplies
• banks and financial institutions
• hardware, building supplies
• landscaping material supplies
• agricultural and rural supplies
• pet supplies
• post offices and newsagents
• office supplies
• garden centres and plant nurseries
• vehicle hire premises (not including the premises at which vehicles are sold)
• shops that predominantly carry out repairs of mobile phones.
‘Click and collect’ and home delivery: Businesses may continue to operate if they provide goods and services to customers that are:
• ordered by phone or internet
• delivered to customers
• collected by customers.
Businesses may continue to operate if they provide goods and services to customers and follow the requirements for:
• wearing of face masks
• check-in requirements (for example, using QR codes).
CONSTRUCTION: From Monday 12:01am on 19 July 2021, work at construction sites in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, is not to be carried out unless the work is urgently required;
• to ensure the safety or security of the construction site
• to deal with environmental risks
• to maintain and ensure the integrity of critical plant, equipment or assets, including partially completed works, that would otherwise deteriorate
• to receive deliveries of supplies that would otherwise deteriorate
• to maintain public utilities
• to ensure the safe operation of existing transport infrastructure
• by or on behalf of NSW Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic because of an emergency.
Critical repairs, maintenance and cleaning: Restrictions apply to services provided to residential premises in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
From Sunday 18 July 2021, services cannot be provided to a residential premise for;
Repairs, maintenance or cleaning services are allowed only if urgently required for;
• the health, safety or security of the premises or members of the household or
• because of an emergency.
Q: I have a factory operation so a lot of my employees cannot work from home. My business is allowed to remain open but I have employees in Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas. Can they leave these areas to get to the factory?
If an employee lives in the Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas they cannot leave their local government area that they live in to go to work unless they are an authorised worker.
You can find out if your employees are “authorised workers” by going to: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/authorised-workers.
If any employee leaves the Fairfield local government area for work as an authorised worker, they need to have a COVID-19 test when required by the rules for testing found at:
Q: Given the nature of my business my workers are not “authorised workers”. What can I do?
Assuming your business is allowed to remain open you will have to use employees from outside the Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas as best you can (only authorised workers can leave these local government areas to go to work).
For the people who simply cannot get to work you will need to consider the information in yesterday’s Alert:
*Terminating the employment of an employee unable to attend work because of the most recent restrictions would very likely result in unfair dismissal risk.
*You should consider whether the employee can work from home in such a situation, otherwise you are not under any requirement to pay the employee.
*We would urge you to make available any accrued paid leave the employee might have such as annual leave or long service leave.
*Otherwise you should apply your normal leave without pay policy to such an employee.
These employees may be entitled to Government support.
Q: My factory is inside the Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas. My business is allowed to remain open. Is it business as usual?
If the employee lives in the same local government area as your business then they can come to work as normal. Remember an employee can only leave their residence in the Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government area to go to work if they are an authorised worker. You might need to look closely at what local government area your factory is in and what local government area your employees live in to get this right.
Q: Where can I go to get more information?
Additional restrictions for Greater Sydney, including Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney
COVID-19 tests for Greater Sydney workers:
Who in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs is authorised to work:
Face mask rules in NSW: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/face-mask-rules
Common questions about the rules: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/changes
We will continue to monitor the changes impacting businesses. Should you require assistance, please get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.