The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead.
NCCC Chair Nev Power said that businesses were affected differently by restrictions and everyone needed a plan for when restrictions changed.
“It’s been a really tough time for business owners and their employees, and it will continue to be challenging as we head into a staged recovery. We should acknowledge the tremendous efforts of employers and workers, and make sure that we’re looking after each other as we work our way through this pandemic,” Mr Power said.
“The sooner we can get businesses open and people back in work, the sooner our lives and livelihoods can be rebuilt as our economy recovers. At the same time, as restrictions change, we need to make sure that both workers and customers are safe.
“There’s a huge effort going on across Government through Safe Work Australia, industry bodies and health departments to help businesses to have COVIDSafe plans in place.”
The tool brings together information from across government on the range of help and assistance available to support businesses. This tool complements the Safe Work Australia online hub, which remains the definitive source of information for businesses to understand their work health and safety obligations.
“We need businesses everywhere to get behind the safety protocols and have their COVIDSafe plans in place.
“One of the key things will be to maintain our discipline around physical distancing and hygiene. Our success depends on everyone – business owners, workers, customers – keeping up our practices of handwashing, social distancing, covering our sneezes and coughs, staying home if you are unwell, getting tested if you have symptoms and downloading the COVIDSafe app,” Mr Power said.
Businesses should seek advice from their local WHS authority, Safe Work Australia, or contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure they meet all their legal obligations.
The online planning should take about 30 minutes to complete and leave businesses with a clear idea about what they will do to keep people safe, how they will get their business back up and running and how they might adapt their operating model.
It will also help businesses to plan practical steps such as organising supplies, updating insurance and reactivating subscriptions, and provides links to the assistance available to help them reopen, including help with cash flow, wages and loans.
The planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe can be downloaded from the NCCC website.