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Practical advice and assistance for businesses

Responding to 
COVID-19

ABN: 96 929 977 985 ACN: 099 891 611 
Copyright © 2020 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia

You may need to reconsider your existing workforce structure. Always seek legal advice before restructuring.

We can help Members identify appropriate policy and procedural responses within legislative frameworks.

We can assist with managing and restructuring your workforce during periods of uncertainty.

Get help planning for and managing risk and business continuity.

Support your business continuity with advice about alternative overseas suppliers and export markets.

View Membership packagesMore about Workplace Relations ConsultingFind out about OHS ConsultingVisit International Trade Consulting

Building resilience

CCIWA can help 

With the JobKeeper program concluding on March 28, the WA economy appears relatively well-placed in its economic recovery. However, every business is unique, and some are more exposed to border restrictions and national and global conditions than others. We're always working hard to ensure your concerns are heard where it matters. If you’re facing challenges, or want to provide feedback, don't hesitate to reach out to the team.

Employee Relations
Advice Centre

Workplace Relations Consulting

OHS
Consulting

International Trade Consulting

ABN: 96 929 977 985 ARBN: 099 891 611 

Copyright © 2020 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia

  • Get across your obligations as an employer, including enterprise agreements, contractual terms and the temporary flexibility available in some limited circumstances. 
  • Discuss options with your workforce. Employees may agree to reduced hours, or job sharing, in preference to job losses. 
  • If you have exhausted all other options, know what you must do to meet your obligations in case of redundancies.
  • Look ahead – how are you training and developing staff to meet your future business needs?
  •  Stay up-to-date on hiring and training incentives that may be available.
  • Staff are not entitled to be paid whilst self-isolating under Australian Government orders. 
  • Look at updating your leave policy. You may be able to reasonably refuse leave to travel-banned countries. 
  • If staff then go to a travel-banned country against employer approval, on top of the requirement to self-isolate, it may be possible to discipline the staff member.
  • Consider postponing or cancelling all business travel that isn’t critical to your operations.

Get on top of travel

Australian Citizens and Resident arriving in Australia must isolate themselves at home for 14 days. All foreigner travellers will not be permitted to enter Australia from 9pm (AEST), Friday 20 March 2020.

Disclaimer: The content found on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained is free from error and/or omissions, no responsibility can be accepted by CCIWA, its employees or any other person involved in the preparation of information for any claim (including without limitation, any liability arising from fault, negligence or negligent misstatement) for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any use or reliance on this information, or otherwise in connection with it.

  • Review and revise your COVID-19 communication and incident response plan.
  • Be transparent and keep staff and other stakeholders up-to-date with your COVID-19 response. 
  • Make a mental health and wellness plan, take time to check-in, and help support more vulnerable staff members.

Leading through change

Business has a role to play in the community’s resilience — not just by helping keep staff safe at work, or by generating economic opportunity, but by showing leadership through difficult times.

  • Ensure your employees' workspace complies with occupational health and safety standards and check your insurance.
  • You may need to provide staff with equipment and services — like internet access, software virus protections, laptops and phones.
  • Know what expenses your employees may be able to claim and stipulate working hours and entitlements beforehand.

Trial a work from home day

It’s important to have a ‘work from home’ or offsite plan in place and tested before it’s needed.

CCIWA Members with questions can contact our
Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660.

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CCIWA Members with questions can contact the
Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660

Download our COVID-19 Key Issues Sheet - updated March 25, 2020

On Wednesday 18 March, the Australian Government raised the advice for all overseas travel to the highest level – Level 4 – Do Not TravelBookmark the DFAT and Smartraveller websites and stay up to date.

CCIWA Members with questions can contact the
Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660

Apprentice and trainee incentivesMental health for staffDownload Business Continuity Analysis Template
Stimulus Fact Sheet

Bookmark the business.gov.au website to stay up to date.

Call CCIWA Membership 1300 422 492

Bookmark the Health Department website to stay up to date.

Frequently asked questions

Updated December 1, 2021

Our Employee Relations Advice Centre offers advice and information targeted to our Members’ needs. The team has taken hundreds of calls on COVID-19 so far. Below you can find some general guidance to frequently asked questions.

Title

COVID-19 rules and regulations

When will WA reopen to all interstate and international travel?

WA borders won't open to all travel until at least 90 per cent of the State’s population aged over 12 years is double-dose vaccinated. At current vaccination rates, it is expected this will be achieved in late January or early February 2022.

Until that time, restrictions on international travel and travel to and from higher-risk Australian states will continue.

Once WA reopens, what requirements will there be for interstate travellers?

Interstate arrivals will be required to:

  • be double-dose vaccinated (for eligible people);
  • return a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test 72 hours before departure; and
  • undertake a test on arrival in WA (to be phased out, pending a review).

Unvaccinated travellers will not be permitted to enter WA unless they provide proof they are exempt for medical reasons. Children under 12 years of age are also considered exempt

Once WA reopens, what requirements will there be for international travellers?

International arrivals who are vaccinated will be permitted to enter WA without quarantine, provided they:

  • provide evidence of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel;
  • provide proof of vaccination status or proof of medical exemption; and
  • return a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival (testing requirements are interim and will be reviewed).

There will be no caps on the number of vaccinated arrivals.

Unvaccinated returning residents will be permitted to enter WA from overseas; however, they will be required to:

  • provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel; and
  • complete 14 days of supervised quarantine at their own expense at a designated facility and undergo COVID-19 testing.

Which industries are subject to a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine?

In WA, unless an exemption applies, the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for:

  • All residential aged care workers;
  • All quarantine workers;
  • All employees of WA health system entities; and
  • At-risk WA port workers.

Details on the latest rules and restrictions in WA are available at here.

For guidance on aged care workers refusing to get vaccinated, call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com

Who must be vaccinated by December 31, 2021?

Employees in the following occupations must have received their first vaccine dose by December 1, 2021 and be fully vaccinated (two doses) by December 31, 2021:

  • Cross-border freight (road and rail) workers – high and extreme risk locations only
  • All remaining public and private hospitals and public healthcare facilities
  • Primary and community health
  • Onsite resources sector
  • Border and air transport
  • Staff working in or entering remote Aboriginal communities
  • Residential and non-residential community care services including in relation to:
  • Disability; Mental health; Homelessness
  • Drug and alcohol services; Child protection
  • Family and domestic violence; Aboriginal peoples
  • Corrective services
  • Remaining WA Police
  • Fire and Emergency Services (excluding volunteers)
  • Abattoirs and meat processing

Who must be vaccinated by January 31, 2022?

Employees in the following occupations must have received their first vaccine dose by December 31, 2021 and be fully vaccinated (two doses) by January 31, 2022:

  • Supermarkets, groceries, bakeries
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars or cafés
  • Post offices
  • Hardware stores
  • Child care or family day care
  • Schools and boarding schools (before Term 1 of the 2022 school year)
  • Financial institutions
  • Critical infrastructure and services necessary for health, safety and welfare of the
  • community, any person, animal or premises e.g. utilities and veterinary clinics
  • Petrol stations, truck stops and roadhouses
  • Public and commercial transport
  • Remaining port operations
  • Remaining commercial transport, freight or logistics
  • Hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to provide accommodation services
  • Funeral or mortuary services
  • Building, maintenance or construction

Who has to be vaccinated if there’s another lockdown?

In the event of another lockdown or similar restrictions, employees in the following occupations/industries must already be fully vaccinated (two doses) to attend work:

  • Click-and-collect retail
  • Bottle shops
  • Newsagents
  • Pet stores
  • Wholesalers
  • Critical conveyancing and settlement agents
  • Roadside assistance
  • Critical forestry
  • Critical primary industries
  • Critical factories, manufacturing, fabrication and production
  • Government or local government services where working from home is not possible
  • Some administrative services
  • Vehicle and mechanical repair services
  • Journalistic and media services
  • Members and staff of the WA Parliament

What do I have to do now?

If your business is covered by these mandates you’ll need to ensure your business is compliant. You may wish to start consulting your workforce about implementing a vaccination policy.

CCIWA has consistently urged WA businesses to support staff to participate in the vaccination effort. This is the only way to get past the era of lockdowns and travel restrictions, and back to life and business as usual.

Find our more information and advice in our free COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Workplace Employer Guide.

For further guidance, call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com.

What are the penalties if I or my employees aren’t vaccinated?

You could be fined up to $100,000 if you are found to have employees, including yourself, who aren’t vaccinated.

Could my employees face penalties if they aren’t vaccinated?

Yes, individual employees, including yourself, could be fined up to $20,000 if they aren’t vaccinated.

What if my business/occupation isn’t on the list for mandatory vaccines?

Even if your business isn’t subject to mandatory vaccines, it’s likely that customers and suppliers may require your workforce to be vaccinated as a condition of engagement or entry.

CCIWA has consistently urged WA businesses to support staff to participate in the vaccination effort. This is the only way to get past the era of lockdowns and travel restrictions, and back to life and business as usual.

What do I do if an employee refuses to get the vaccine or disclose their vaccination status?

The WA Health Department advises that employers will be required to ensure unvaccinated staff do not enter the workplace or undertake certain roles. Employers can also choose to issue employer directions, should you choose to do so, from which you may be able to take other action.

We recommend you consider the likelihood of employees refusing vaccination and the process you will take to respond to this, including discrimination considerations and assessing the potential impact on an employee’s ability to carry out the key requirements of their role.

In general, we recommend you consider adopting a COVID-19 vaccination policy that acknowledges specific exemptions from vaccinations and sets out evidence requirements (e.g. employees claiming medical conditions may need to provide a medical certificate supporting this claim). In all communications regarding the vaccination policy, employers should also make sure to clearly outline any potential consequences of workers refusing to comply with the policy and/or public health orders.

Find our more information and advice in our free COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Workplace Employer Guide.

For further guidance, call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com.

What should I do if an employee refuses to get vaccinated?

Please call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com.

Our free COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Workplace Employer Guide. contains more information.

I’m a sole trader/contractor and don’t have any employees. What must I do?

Ensure you understand and comply with all public health orders to avoid facing penalties.

Are we required to continue using contact registers?

Most businesses and venues are required to maintain a contact register. The WA Government’s SafeWA app is an easy way for people to check-in at businesses. A manual contact register must also be available.

Contact registers are essential in assisting contact tracers to identify people who may have been exposed to a positive case.

What incoming and outgoing travel restrictions are in place in WA? As at December 1, 2021.

Please refer to our information on the ‘state risk categories’ in the section below. The most up to date information can also always be obtained from the WA Government here.

State Risk Categories. Information sourced from the WA Government, on December 1, 2021.

CCIWA Members with questions or concerns can contact our Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660.

Next steps after JobKeeper

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions mean business, more than ever, needs to be entrepreneurial, flexible and responsive.

  • Review, update, communicate and enact your industry and workplace-specific hygiene and isolation guidelines regularly. 
  • Get a grasp on your cash flow and financial situation.
  • Recognise and respond to consumer shifts – both reduced demand and new openings.
  • Develop new markets and supply opportunities, internationally and locally.
  • Explore your technological capability and build your contingency for digital acceleration.
  • Consider your current and future workforce requirements and understand your contractual obligations. 
Download our OHS Working From Home ChecklistCoronavirus Self-Screening Forms for Staff/External PartiesDownload our OHS Working From Home Packet

We need to ensure we protect our economy and our workforce. Businesses have an important role to play to reassure workforces and communities, to know that we will get through this together.

Roger Cook MLA
Minister for Health

Download our Updated Staff CommunicationDownload our Sample Staff Email

A message from WA’s Health Minister

Stimulus Fact Sheet

Updated: December 1, 2021 - 12:40pm AWST 

How to Work Well From Home - ManagersHow to Work Well From Home - StaffSupport for business ownersWorkforce options
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Our Employee Relations Advice Centre is experiencing a high volume of calls & email enquiries at this time. We appreciate your patience and will endeavour to address your query as soon as possible.

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Adapt your business

Efforts to secure your supply chain and digitally transform your business now can also help build its resilience into the future.

Visit ICN Portal

Managing apprentices & trainees

Employers of apprentices and trainees must consider both their training and employment contracts when looking to restructure.

  • Get across your contractual obligations. 
  • Investigate alternatives to cancelling— you may be able to suspend or vary the training contract.  
  • Look at accessing Federal Government stimulus for employers of apprentices/trainees. 
  • If you have to make your apprentice/trainee redundant, you must meet the requirements of the State Training Authority.
Download the Training Contract ObligationsDownload the Apprentice and Trainee Workforce Options GuideDownload the Apprentice and Trainee Workforce Options GuideDownload the Workforce Options GuideStimulus Fact SheetBusiness continuity analysisDownload Working from Home ProcedureAwards flexed for downturnCOVID-19 Safety PackageTravel letter for staffTravel letter for staffLightbox Button
CCIWA supporting our regional chamber members
Download the Proposed award variationsSample letter to landlordsRegister for the next Economic Pulse webinarThermal checking guideIf a worker has COVID-19Awards variations for COVID-19WA travel app launchedWA travel app launchedCOVID-19 Government Assistance GuideRecovery Reform RoadmapWA to relax COVID-19 restrictionsWA stage 2 restrictions
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East Kimberly Chamber of Commerce & Industry Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce & Industry Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mid West Chamber of Commerce & Industry Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry Northam Chamber of Commerce Wheatbelt Business Network Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry Narrogin Chamber of Commerce Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce Busselton Chamber of Commerce & Industry Margaret River Chamber of Commerce & Industry Pemberton Chamber of Commerce & Industry Denmark Chamber of Commerce Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry
CCIWA supporting our regional chamber members

As the peak body representing businesses in WA for more than 125 years, we support and connect thousands of businesses with one vision in mind: for WA to be the best place to live and do business.

Our regional Members have access to a range of CCIWA member benefits and services. For assistance with your CCIWA Regional Membership, please contact our Membership Experience Team on 1300 422 492 or email regionalmembers@cciwa.com.

Click on our interactive map to explore our regional chambers, or learn more about how the different regions are faring through COVID-19 in our recent edition of Regional Pulse.

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Adapting operations 

Contact Register ToolkitJobKeeper 2.0 Second Extension Period - Information Sheet
  • Review, update, communicate and enact your industry and workplace-specific hygiene and isolation guidelines regularly. 
  • Get a grasp on your cash flow and financial situation.
  • Recognise and respond to consumer shifts – both reduced demand and new openings.
  • Develop new markets and supply opportunities, internationally and locally.
  • Explore your technological capability and build your contingency for digital acceleration.
  • Consider your current and future workforce requirements and understand your contractual obligations.

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions mean business, more than ever, needs to be entrepreneurial, flexible and responsive.

COVID 19 Vaccination GuideDownload our COVID-19 Key Issues Sheet - updated March 25, 2020

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions mean business, more than ever, needs to be entrepreneurial, flexible and responsive.

  • Review, update, communicate and enact your industry and workplace-specific hygiene and isolation guidelines regularly. 
  • Get a grasp on your cash flow and financial situation.
  • Recognise and respond to consumer shifts – both reduced demand and new openings.
  • Develop new markets and supply opportunities, internationally and locally.
  • Explore your technological capability and build your contingency for digital acceleration.
  • Consider your current and future workforce requirements and understand your contractual obligations. 
Download our OHS Working From Home PacketImplementing a vaccine policyTravel letter for staffSample letter to landlordsWA travel app launchedRecovery Reform RoadmapWA to relax COVID-19 restrictionsWA stage 2 restrictions
WA Mandatory Vaccination GuideCOVID-19 Vaccination GuideWA Category 3 PHO Business Continuity PlanJobKeeper Payment - Employer Guide

Vaccinations and the workforce 

JobKeeper 2.0 Second Extension Period - Information Sheet
  • Understand the mandatory vaccination rules and whether they apply to your workplace. 
  • Learn how to approach your workforce about their vaccination status. 
  • Minimise risk of discrimination or other procedural fairness issues. 
  • Ensure your business is compliant with government directions, occupational health and safety obligations and workplace laws. 
  • Learn what to do if staff refuse to get vaccinated, and when you need to seek legal advice.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for the majority of WA’s workforce, with businesses required to ensure compliance.

Can I make my staff get a COVID vaccine?CONTACT OUR ADVICE CENTRECONTACT OUR LEGAL TEAMACCESS THE NEW WA COVID VACCINE GUIDE