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Business Insights – 29 March 2021 – Greater Brisbane goes into a short lockdown

Today the Queensland premier has announced that Greater Brisbane will enter a 3-day lockdown from 5pm today (Monday 29 March) to Thursday 1 April at 5pm. All non-essential businesses in the greater Brisbane area (Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton and Brisbane council areas) must close during the lockdown.

If you’ve been in that Greater Brisbane region since Saturday 20 March, you’ll need to follow the lock down rules for the next three days. You will only be able to leave home for 4 essential reasons:

1. To buy essentials such as groceries or medications
2. Work or study if it’s not reasonably practicable to do so remotely
3. Exercise in your local area
4. Healthcare or to provide help, care or support

Masks should be worn indoors at all times (except in your own home) and outdoors if you can’t socially distance.

For more information, visit the QLD government website: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/urgent-covid-19-update

Paying employees during lock down

In relation to how you should manage payroll entitlements for the three days (Tuesday 30/3 to Thursday 1/4), there is clear information on the Fair Work website:

 

See the Fair Work website here: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/stand-down-during-coronavirus#enforceable-government-directions

As a result of these government enforced lockdowns over the past 12 months, we have a much clearer perspective on how to treat these situations. If your employees cannot work from home, you have several options to consider: You can allow them to take annual leave for the lockdown days. If they don’t have leave or don’t want to take leave then this time can count as leave without pay.

One thing to note: consider the cost to your business if you were to pay them (even for 1 or 2 of the lockdown days) and whether this might be a good investment to foster stronger loyalty and commitment from your employees.

Border closures

At the time of writing, the following border closures have been announced:

VIC: Greater Brisbane has been designated a red zone under Victoria’s ‘traffic light’ travel permit system. Victorian residents now in Greater Brisbane can apply for a permit to fly back, but will have to return straight home and quarantine for 14 days on their return. Byron Bay in NSW and Gladstone in central Queensland have also been declared orange zones.

NSW: Travellers arriving in NSW must complete a self-declaration form if they have been in the Brisbane City Council or Moreton Bay Regional Council since March 11.

SA: A hard border with greater Brisbane has been imposed, effective from 4pm today.

WA: WA has closed its borders to QLD. As of Saturday, March 27, all arrivals in Western Australia from Queensland need to complete 14 days of self-quarantine and present for COVID testing.

Queensland’s short, sharp lockdown is similar, but slightly less restrictive than the one imposed in Victoria in February this year. This again shows us how these types of decisions can be made very quickly and implemented with very little notice. Tenfold’s own Lee Dore is currently up in Noosa and we’re hoping he has a seamless trip back to Melbourne.

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng. (Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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