You have now reached Level 5 of Jumanji! 

The workplace and business environment are still dominated by confusion and anxiety – and the with the constant changes it really is starting to feel like we are in a game of Jumanji.   Unfortunately, with these changes introduced the industrial relations environment has become even more clouded and uncertain.

We’ve tried to re-cap below the best that we can:

Stand Downs 

Are you a business that has decided that the ten-person rule just means that it is uneconomical to re-open at this stage?

  • The Pre JobKeeper Stand Down that you have issued your staff (so those stand downs that you issued when the restrictions were first put in place, prior to JobKeeper even becoming a word!), now needs to be replaced with a JobKeeper Directives Letter (contact us if you do not have these and have not sent these out to your staff, they are a Fair Work requirement)
  • The Stand Down is no longer relevant as it can be argued that you are not closed for “reasons outside of your control”

ATO Notification Details

  • It is now become clear that the Employer has an obligation to notify all employees that their details have been provided to the ATO for the payment fortnight, within 7 days of that payment fortnight
  • Our recommendation is that you can add a note to your payslip to state this
  • Suggested wording (thanks to our friends at CCIQ):
    • In accordance with section 6(4) of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 this memorandum is to confirm that [insert business name] has given information to the Australian Taxation Commissioner, including your details, and details about your entitlement,  confirming you are an eligible employee to receive JobKeeper payments for the payment fortnight/s to [insert end date of payment fortnight].  
    • We will continue to make JobKeeper payments to you in accordance with the eligibility rules.

JobKeeper Nomination Notices (ATO has amended the form)

  • The ATO have amended the nomination notice (around juniors and their eligibility)
  • If you have a workforce that includes juniors, we recommend re-issuing these forms and getting them completed again by employees

Covid Safe Workplace

We needed some new words in our vocabulary – and this week’s catch phrase is a “Covid Safe Workplace”.  What is a Covid Safe workplace?   It is simply having a workplace plan in place that ensures that you have identified all of the risks of Covid when reopening and protect your customers and staff.

The absolute best website with industry specific details is:

I would also just like to re-cap on my last post where I talked about some of the anger that we are starting to see. 

I touched on the fact that we are starting to see employees react with anger and frustration and management is becoming even more difficult and leadership is even more important during these times.   The part of our brain that is response for the fight or flight response is also responsible for fear.  Fear in turn is then responsible for higher levels of agitation which and very quickly turn unto anger and annoyance and conflict.   When dealing with staff, remember that they are feeling a very primary emotion – fear.  Bring out your best management skills, pushing your employees into a corner and then making them come out swinging is not going to solve anything at this stage. 

Mental health experts are starting to study the fact that our response to the virus may outlast the virus and the ramifications of the virus itself.  We are lucky that we have been (to date) able to control the virus as we have, we now need to make sure that we are setting ourselves up mentally to be able to cope with the constant changes and changes in our lives.  There is no one size fits all, we just need to ensure that we have times of mindfulness in our days, structure, routine and that we still connect with those close to us to ensure that we maintain a sense of meaning and purpose.  Do what works for you.

As a final note, one of the things that we are totally enjoying is watching John Krasinski (of “The Office” fame) SGN… channel on YouTube.  SGN stand for Some Good News –  Highly recommend this channel as a bit of light relief in these times.  YouTube it – you won’t regret it!

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