3 key actions for employers
As we continue to live and work alongside COVID-19, the onus is on employers to keep up with frequent changes public health orders and endeavour to maintain a compliant, COVIDSafe workplace.
For example, in Victoria under the Pandemic COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Order 2022 (No. 2), healthcare, aged care, disability, education and construction employers are now required to manage the booster vaccination status of their staff. Independent contractors, consultants or practitioners who enter these settings must also adhere to the booster vaccination requirements. For example, a speech pathologist who works in a school must meet the vaccination requirements of both the education sector and the healthcare sector.
Each time COVIDSafe requirements change in your jurisdiction or industry, there are 3 key steps every employer should take as an initial measure:
1. Read the current public health orders in your jurisdiction.
Public health directions differ between each state and territory and for different businesses or industries, so it is important to review the directions that apply to your workplace on a regular basis.
2. Review your workplace plans, policies and processes.
Having the right policies, procedures and systems in place is key to effectively meeting your employer obligations and strategically managing your exposure to risk.
It is important for the board and the director and/or employer to conduct risk assessments to identify the key business risks, assess their probability of occurrence, and rate these risks.
For a business with a high reliance and dependency on staff, Human Resources will be a key business risk and most employers would have a range of policies, procedures and systems in place. Employers may also bring in a consultant with subject matter expertise to ensure that they have adequate and effective internal controls.
To ensure the effectiveness of the relevant internal controls, staff need to be aware and regularly trained on the respective of policies, procedures and systems.
3. Clearly communicate your expectations and requirements with your staff.
It is very important to communicate both verbally and in writing any new compliance requirements with your staff. As the employer or duty holder, you are responsible for ensuring that your communication plan is effective i.e. that your messaging has been received and understood. Always provide ample opportunity for your staff to ask questions, give feedback or voice their concerns. Make sure that all written communications are kept for your records.
COVID-related workplace requirements can be challenging for some managers and supervisors. Support is available, learn more >
WorkPlacePLUS offers tailored workplace support for complex HR matters. For more information, please contact us today.