With businesses planning to reopen or increase activities in the coming weeks and months, the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has developed an online planning tool to help business keep workers and customers safe. 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,” Power said. “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.”
The tool brings together information from across government on the range of help and assistance available to support businesses. It complements the Safe Work Australia (SWA) central information hub, which remains the definitive source of information for businesses to understand their work health and safety (WHS) obligations. The online planning tool should take about 30 minutes to complete, providing businesses with a clear idea about how to keep people safe, how to get the business back up and running, and how to adapt their operating model.
“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. We need businesses everywhere to get behind the safety protocols and have their COVIDSafe plans in place,” Power said. Businesses should seek advice from their local WHS authority, from SWA or contact their Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure they meet all their legal obligations.
“One of the key things will be to maintain our discipline around physical distancing and hygiene,” Power said. “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.”
The online planning tool will also help businesses plan practical steps such as organising supplies, updating insurance and reactivating subscriptions. The tool also 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.
For the latest information on Australia’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19, visit www.australia.gov.au.
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