A new planning tool has been released by the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) to help businesses keep their employees, customers, and the public safe as they start the gradual process of returning to work.
Launched in late March, the NCCC has two key roles: to help minimise and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and businesses, and to facilitate the fastest possible recovery of lives and livelihoods.
As businesses reopen and increase their activities, NCCC Chair Neville Power recommends that every business will need a plan as restrictions lift[i]. “We need to make sure that both workers and customers are safe. Businesses everywhere should to get behind the safety protocols and have their COVIDSafe plans in place.”
30-minute planning tool
The online planning tool takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and it will help SMEs prepare a safe working environment for themselves, their employees, clients and the public safe, as well as how to respond to a COVID-19 infection.
As per the national principles agreed to by Australian Governments, businesses and workers must actively manage against the spread of COVID-19 while at work, consistent with the latest health advice. This involves maintaining safe and clean workplaces, adhering to social distancing regulations and by continuing to follow government advice.
The tool will also help a business develop a roadmap for the return to work and how the changing environment in the wake of the pandemic might require some modifications to operating models. Following COVID-19, for example, some SMEs may offer more remote working opportunities.
The tool will also assist businesses plan for practical steps such as reaching out to employees and suppliers, updating of websites with reopening details, organising supplies, contacting lenders and insurers and reactivating subscriptions. The tool also presents information about the government assistance available to help SMEs reopen, including JobKeeper and the instant asset write-off.
The planning tool provides a broad range of information regarding the help and assistance available to businesses including the Safe Work Australia online hub. This hub provides businesses with information about their workplace health and safety obligations, workers’ rights and more.
To keep your small business cyber-safe, the NCC’S planning tool recommends visiting the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s website for information about how to secure your business’s online presence.
Mr Power’s concluded, “There’s a huge effort going on across Government through Safe Work Australia, industry bodies and health departments to help businesses have COVIDSafe plans in place.” The planning tool is available for download from the NCCC website.
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