Business guide to coronavirus

We have created a dedicated destination for businesses around Australia to stay updated with the latest news related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to help understand what this means for their business and employees.

8:33am 21 May 2020 – Federal court on top of casual double-dipping - The Full Federal Court has today reconfirmed that casual employees working regular and systematic hours with “predictable periods of working time” are likely to be considered permanent employees, regardless of what their contract says and regardless of the payment of casual loading. 

8:33am 21 May 2020 – Confirmed cases: There are now 5,079,895 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, with at least 7,079 confirmed cases in Australia. We monitor these numbers daily and update accordingly.

1:16pm 8 May 2020 – Restaurants, cafes allowed to reopen under the first stage of eased coronavirus restrictions. Timings of changes will be up to the individual states and territories.

10:01am 27 April 2020 – JobKeeper enrolment has been extended: The Commissioner has extended the enrolment for JobKeeper from 30 April 2020 to 31 May 2020. 

5:42pm 21 April 2020 – Australian Bureau of Statistics: · Accommodation and food services (-25.6%), arts and recreation (-18.7%) and mining (-8.4%) lead the way on job losses. Unsurprisingly, accommodation and food services, and arts and recreation services also lead the way on pay cuts - down 30.1% and 15.7% respectively. 

7.36am 9 April 2020: The Federal Government has changed the Fair Work Act for employers and employees who have accessed the JobKeeper wage subsidy. Read more.

8:08am 30 March 2020 – Government to unveil Coronavirus wage subsidy for businesses workers: Businesses are expected to be paid a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, under a Federal Government plan to keep Australians in work. Click here for more.

Through thick and thin, we're in this together

What is coronavirus?

From January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China. The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) has now spread to other countries around the world. The virus is already having significant business and operational impact on Australian companies. It is therefore critical that businesses have a clear plan and lines of communications with employees, as well as clients and third-party entities.

People can catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one metre of a person with COVID-19, they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by the infected person. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to the flu.

Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some go on to experience more severe illness and may require hospital care. The risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes and heart and lung disease are also more susceptible to serious illness.

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have recently travelled overseas, or have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus

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