COVID-19 Update for Employers

Published April 2022

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has had over 180,000 total cases of COVID-19 and distributed over 445 million tests. As of late 2021, more than 90% of the population aged 16 and over have been fully vaccinated with numbers increasing well into 2022.

As Australia moves towards a ‘living with COVID-19’ approach leading to greater freedoms for both businesses and individuals, no lockdowns and the return of domestic and international travel, employers now need to consider what steps they are willing to take to protect their workforce and the public.


With cases still increasing, it is important for employers to remain aware of the state and federal Governments guidelines around close contacts, isolating and returning to work requirements, along with their own policies.

Remember: as an employer, you are within your right to request a medical clearance from an employee to demonstrate they are fit to return to work following COVID isolation, just as you would in any other circumstances of sickness, to ensure they have the capacity to perform their duties without exposing themselves or anyone else to an unnecessary level of risk. However, every work situation is different and changing regularly. We encourage you to remain flexible and create options that meet the needs of both parties while also continuing to keep an eye on the Government directions.


The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment offered by Services Australia, provides support for those who are unable to work or earn an income because they have been directly affected or are caring for someone self-isolating due to COVID-19. It is a lump sum payment to help during the time that your employees can’t work and earn income.

It is important to make your employees aware that there is support available if they meet the eligibility requirements. As this is a payment that employees will apply for themselves, you should encourage them to read about the payment and eligibility requirements here.


Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions have been eased further on the 14th of April 2022 with most venues that have been open only to vaccinated staff and patrons now open to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Among these venues include pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants, casinos, theme parks, galleries etc. Vaccine requirements will remain in place to visitors and workers in vulnerable settings including hospitals, aged and disability care, prisons, schools and early childhood centres.

The Chief Health Officer advises that employers can now safely ease these settings whilst getting back to business as usual and maintaining a high level of protection.


In saying this, vaccination remains a talking point across Queensland and whether the booster is mandatory. Employers therefore need to consider if imposing a mandatory vaccination requirement is a reasonably practicable way of minimising the risks of a COVID-19 outbreak in their workplace.

Regardless of your stance on vaccination, we recommend that all businesses have a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy and appropriate clauses in Employment Contracts and Contractor Agreements. To understand the alternatives to ‘mandatory vaccination’ in your business, read our vaccination update here.

Contact our team if you wish to introduce a policy or clauses in your contracts and click here for more information regarding boosters in Queensland.


While many employers have returned their teams to the office, some workplaces and workers continue to work from home, depending on their circumstances. If you still have team members WFH, it is important to document their arrangement that will offer guidance to support your employees in the efficient delivery of service whilst at home and to manage health and safety risks.

If you have employees working from home, don’t forget to contact our team for a WFH toolkit and read our update on Getting Your Team Setup to Successfully Work From Home.

Our toolkit contains a Work From Home Policy, Employee Agreement and Home Workspace Assessment – everything you need to get your team setup and working well!


We encourage all businesses to familiarise themselves with the continuously updated information found on the Fair Work Ombudsman website here, along with the Safe Work Australia website here – the pages have comprehensive FAQ pages which we are confident you will find useful.

If you have employees working from home, don’t forget to contact our team for a WFH toolkit and read our update on Getting Your Team Setup to Successfully Work From Home.

Employees can claim The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they meet the eligibility requirements on the Services Australia site.

As always, the team at Edwards HR are here to answer your questions and provide support across all areas of HR. You can reach us on the details below:

Emma Edwards – 0459 818 011 or

Jill Kirkpatrick – 07 3568 0866 or

Lois Alford – 0497 497 342 or

Feel free to share this update with your network.

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