Now that Australia is opening up again and people are heading back to work, it is important that we all go back to the office, and any place of work, in a safe and responsible manner. Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors has registered our COVID Safety Plan and been certified as a COVID Safe Business.
COVID-19 Safety Plans help to protect staff, customers and visitors as NSW gets back to business. Some businesses will need to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan under the public health orders, but you can also voluntarily complete one.
As a business owner or employer, what should I be doing?
To become a COVID Safe business, go to the NSW Government Guide on COVID Safe Businesses. Here, you will be guided through making a COVID-19 Safety Plan, depending on what environment your business operates in. Options include agriculture, libraries, restaurants and cafes, sports and recreation facilities, and office environments.
In an office environment, it is important to follow the guidelines in the following areas:
- Staff and visitor wellbeing. No one should be attending work if they are unwell, and this should be communicated clearly to everyone who will be coming into the office
- Physical distancing. Only one person can safety occupy a 4 metre squared space. Thus, it is important to use flexible working arrangements where possible, use telephone or video platforms for essential meetings, and ensure people maintain 1.5 metre physical distancing at all times.
- Hygiene and cleaning. Surfaces should be regularly disinfected and hand sanitiser should be available at multiple locations throughout the workplace
- Record keeping. The business must keep a record of name and contact details of all staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors attending the office, for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections. These records must be kept for at least 28 days and stored confidentially and securely.
These are the guidelines that Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors will be following as we start going back to the office. The guidelines in your workplace may be different, and so it is important that you complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan and make it available for all your staff.
As an employee, how can I ensure that it is safe for me to return to work?
If you are unsure whether your employer has completed a COVID Safety Plan, speak with them about it. It may be that a Plan has been put in place, but just not made publicly available. If your employer has a informal plan on how to keep employees safe, encourage them to go to this website: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses, and register as a COVID Safe Business. It only takes a few minutes, and can help protect our community from the spread of COVID, as well as providing peace of mind to employees and visitors.
Part of being a COVID Safe Business is ongoing consultation with staff, visitors and clients, as well as feedback on how we are going. If you have any questions or would like to provide us with feedback, please contact us via 02 8917 8700 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.