The COVID-19 crisis has forced significant changes to the standard “working model” with Australian employers having to make difficult decisions in respect of their employees such as issuing stand down notices, implementing remote working conditions, reducing hours, and reducing salary.

From this week onwards, Australia commences plans to return to normality following the positive effects of nation-wide self-isolation and social distancing measures.  However, returning to work after the pandemic is anything but business as usual.

As we navigated the trajectory of this crisis, it was inevitable that staffing structures, rosters, hours and employment terms changed.  It is also inevitable to feel overwhelmed by implementing such changes and keeping track.  Due to the speed at which COVID-19 forced us to change, it would not be remiss to forget or overlook some key requirements related to compliance, having the correct documents, and implementing required programs.

We have curated some key questions below – your answers may be an indication that you require additional information and support.


Do you have employees returning next week?


Are you compliant with COVID-19 safe requirements?  


Do you have the proper program and documentation in place so that your employees are aware of the COVID-19 safe requirements?


Have you changed the terms and conditions of any of your employee’s contracts including any employees who are visa holders?


Have the changes occurred under the correct statutory guidelines with the correct documents?  If so, do you have the proper documentation on record?


Have you checked whether any altered employment contracts are in line with your sponsorship obligations?


Have you checked whether any altered employment contracts are in line with the working conditions prescribed by the pertinent visa?


The Takeaway

An employee is a company’s most valuable asset.  As such, having good employee relations and related procedures in place is crucial to every company, particularly during this period of change where the landscape of statutory requirements continues to change on an ongoing basis.

We are here to help.

Our partnership with Source, an award-winning professional services firm, provides you with on-tap legal, HR and CFO support to small and medium businesses.  We would love to have a chat to discuss the new “office” framework and how we help you adjust to the changes.

If you would like additional information or to discuss your current situation on a deeper level, we encourage you to reach out to Fiona Wong via email: or on (02) 8234 8400.