SA employers must remain vigilant during state lockdown

Published July 20, 2021 (last updated June 6, 2022) -
SA Restrictions

Business owners in South Australia must ensure they are aware of their obligations under Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions (statewide lockdown), according to Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor.

Growing concerns over positive cases have forced authorities to introduce tough new restrictions. As a result, a range of businesses must close, or operate in a limited capacity, as health authorities continue contact tracing.

“These restrictions, while needed, will have a significant financial impact on business owners,” said Employsure senior employment relations advisor Michael Wilkinson.

“Business owners across the state have been placed into a world of uncertainty and will again be feeling the all too familiar sense of anxiety and stress that comes with tightened restrictions. Some businesses are resilient and have gotten good at shifting operations online where applicable, but if things get worse, this could break them.”

By now, employers should know what the restrictions mean them. If employers in affected industries are told to close, they need to abide by these rules. Not only could they incur a fine if they fail to do so, but they risk the health of their staff, customers, and clients.

For those who can remain open, they need to direct employees to wear a mask at all times in the workplace (unless an exemption applies) and ensure their COVID Safe Plan is regularly reviewed and implemented. Businesses that can switch their operations by having employees work from home should do so.

Business owners should plan for the worst and hope for the best. If an employee or independent contractor tests positive to COVID-19 over the coming days and has physically been in the workplace while infected, the employer must notify health authorities as soon as they become aware.

Having an effective infection control policy that includes identifying and assessing the infection hazards at the workplace and implementing specific controls can help eliminate or minimise the risk of transmission. These may include physical distancing, regular handwashing with soap and the use of hand-sanitiser. Appropriate routine environmental cleaning and disinfection should occur regularly at all workplaces.

Should a worker or employee fall ill, additional control measures need to be initiated. This includes isolating the infected person, identifying anyone they may have come in contact with, and disinfecting the areas they have been working in.

“There is no disputing that action is required to stop the spread of the virus, particularly given the highly contagious nature of the strain,” continued Mr Wilkinson.

“To help restrictions ease as soon as possible, business owners need to ensure they meet their health and safety responsibilities, comply with their legal obligations, and follow government directions.”

Further enquiries:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]

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