COVID-19 and your business

sexual-harrassment-harmers-workplace-lawyers-2The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly impacted Australian workplaces. Almost 90% of Australian businesses have been affected and are expected to be ongoingly impacted by COVID-19 in the coming months.

Many employers are looking at significant changes to their workforce in response to COVID-19. Employers might consider:

  • allowing staff to work from home;
  • adjusting wages;
  • redeploying staff;
  • standing down staff;
  • reducing headcount by making redundancies; and
  • other changes.

Employers also have to navigate complex work health and safety issues, including mandatory vaccinations, testing and other restrictions in the workplace, and potential issues with employee mental health arising from long-term remote work. In particular, employers may have to consider the following issues:

  • is there a requirement to mandate vaccinations?
  • can an employer mandate vaccinations?
  • what happens if employees refuse to be vaccinated?
  • is there a requirement for employees to be regularly tested if there is no mandate on vaccination?
  • can an employee ask whether an employee has been vaccinated or tested, and/or seek proof of vaccination or testing?
  • do employers need to provide paid time off for vaccination or testing?
  • what happens if employees suffer an adverse reaction to vaccination?
  • what happens if an employee is unable to attend work because of a public health order or restriction? Does an employer need to assist with obtaining a permit?
  • what are an employer’s obligations in relation to employee mental health while working remotely?

Employees may also face issues with poor performing employees arising from changes to the way we work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Employers, legal counsel and human resources managers must ensure that any changes are implemented in line with their legal obligations.

At Harmers, we appreciate that the law is complicated and at times unclear. We are here to help Australian businesses navigate Australia’s complex and rapidly changing legal framework during these difficult and uncertain times.

Harmers has been at the forefront of assisting employers affected by COVID-19. We have helped many businesses implement the necessary changes in accordance with their legal obligations.

Harmers is one of Australia’s largest employment law firms. We have represented many of Australia’s largest corporations, as well as small to medium-sized businesses.

We are discounting our rates by 40% for employers affected by COVID-19. 

If you have been affected by COVID-19 and want to know what your rights are, please call (02) 9267 4322 or fill out the form below to connect with one of our employment lawyers today.

“Using Harmers has been the best experience I have had when it comes to employment law support, and over time has enabled us to achieve stability in our workforce.”
Kylie Taylor, Head of HR & WHSE, Coal Services

“I have found the advice and service of Michael Harmer and the team at Harmers Workplace Lawyers to be brilliant, timely and added significant value to the process.”
John Brogden, CEO, Landcom

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If you have been affected by COVID-19 and want to know what your rights are, please call +61 2 9267 4322 or fill out the form below to connect with one of our employment lawyers today.

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