COVID Support for Businesses

COVID Support for Businesses

NSW Government Information:

Keeping your business and employees COVID safe

Businesses are required to keep their premises safe and minimise the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should continually assess the health and safety risks to their employees in their particular industry given the changing risk profile.

Which settings will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination?

Anyone aged 16 or over will need to be fully vaccinated (or have an exemption) to enter most venues including:

hospitality venues

non-critical retail stores

personal services

sporting, recreation and entertainment facilities and events.

Critical retail such as supermarkets or pharmacies will still be accessible for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Authorised officers will monitor businesses re-opening, particularly those that have vaccination requirements, for example hospitality, retail, gyms and personal services (e.g. hair, beauty).

Can I direct my employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

You can direct your employees to get vaccinated where mandatory vaccination is included in a NSW Public Health Order or it would be lawful and reasonable to do so for work health and safety reasons.

When will a direction be reasonable?

“Reasonable” situations will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and depend on a range of factors including the nature of the workplace, the role of the employee, and the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. An example is if your employees’ roles require them to have close contact with people who are vulnerable to the health impacts of COVID-19.

One of the key things to do is to conduct a comprehensive work, health and safety risk assessment. Detailed guidance on how to assess whether it would be reasonable for you to require your employees to be vaccinated is available at the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Vaccination directions should generally not be issued to employees who for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated, or due to their age, as this could be unlawful discrimination.

You should consider whether there is a requirement to consult staff (e.g. under an enterprise agreement or work, health and safety laws).

If you wish to encourage or incentivise your employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you should review the guidance issued by the Therapeutic Goods Administration about promoting COVID-19 vaccines and incentivising individuals to get vaccinated.

Can I refuse unvaccinated patrons entry to my premises?

Public Health Orders may require certain businesses to take reasonable steps to prevent unvaccinated patrons entering their premises. Exemptions will apply to persons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or because of their age to ensure that they are treated fairly.

Businesses that are not covered by a NSW Public Health Order may choose to refuse entry to unvaccinated patrons as long as they comply with their obligations under anti-discrimination and privacy laws. Businesses should not refuse entry to patrons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or because they are in an age group that has not had access to vaccination for very long (i.e. – under 16s).

When asking to see proof that a patron has been vaccinated or has a valid reason for not being vaccinated, businesses should generally inform patrons (either by a notice or verbally) why they are asking for that information (i.e. to manage work health and safety risks and to comply with any applicable NSW Public Health Order), whether a NSW Public Health Order requires them to answer that question, and who might be provided access to any record made of their responses.

If any business records are kept that identify the vaccination status of patrons, businesses should ensure the information is stored in a secure manner, not kept for longer than necessary and only used for the purpose(s) for which it was collected.

Businesses may wish to place signage indicating vaccinated and medically or age exempt patrons are welcome.

Download the COVID-Safe Tool Kit (Posters & Signage) here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/toolkit

Penalties may apply for individuals and businesses who don’t comply.

Individuals: On the spot fines of $1,000 may apply for not complying, or for using fraudulent evidence of vaccination or check-in.

Businesses: On the spot fines of $5,000 may apply for not complying with the Public Health Order vaccination requirements.

Further penalties including closure of businesses, and higher fines for individuals and businesses may apply for significant breaches.

Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 that comes into effect on 11th October 2021: https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/information/covid19-legislation/general

If you want more specific advice give Service NSW Business Concierge a call: on 13 77 88

A Business Concierge can guide you through changes to regulations and the assistance available to small businesses: https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge

Contact tracing and isolation rules

COVID-19 Vaccination Compliance and Obligations for businesses

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination advice for businesses

https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business

https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/proof_of_covid_19_vaccination_advice_for_businesses.pdf

https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/covid_19_vaccination_compliance_and_obligations_for_businesses.pdf

https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/COVID_19_vaccinations_and%20your_business.pdf

Toolkit of Posters & Signage for Businesses: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/toolkit

The NSW Government is providing support for individuals, sole traders, micro-businesses, small and medium businesses, as well as the creative services industry, and accommodation providers to help at this time. For support available for individuals, please click here.

For businesses:

  • There are different support packages available to micro-businesses, small to medium businesses, sole traders and small non-profits depending on your annual turnover.
  • Tailored payments are also available to support businesses in the creative arts sector with the cost of running productions. Visit the Create NSW website for more information.
  • Additional grants are available for accommodation providers who can demonstrate room cancellations during the school holiday period. More information is available at nsw.gov.au.

 

Business concierge

The NSW Government offers a free Business Concierge who can help you with information on grants, licenses, permits and regulations: call us on 13 77 88 Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm (AEST).

Information on COVID-19 business support

For information on COVID-19 financial support including eligibility criteria and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please visit the following pages:

Please note that accountants and tax practitioners are encouraged to contact their member or industry association for information.

COVID-19 Assistance Finder

Complete a 2-minute questionnaire and get a list of benefits and services in health and wellbeing, employment, skills and training, food, housing and finances, tailored specifically for you or your business: https://disasterassistance.service.nsw.gov.au/covid

COVID Support for Businesses

Stay at home rules currently apply to the Walgett Shire Council Local Government Area (LGA)

Some businesses will not be able to open. Importantly, financial support is available. Businesses and individuals can find out if they are eligible by visiting nsw.gov.au or calling Service NSW on 13 77 88. ​

For businesses that can remain open, it is critical to have an up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Plan in place, ensure all customers, staff, delivery drivers and contractors check in and out using electronic check-in systems as required and follow COVID safe behaviours.

Toolkit of Posters & Signage for Businesses: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/toolkit

The NSW Government is providing support for individuals, sole traders, micro-businesses, small and medium businesses, as well as the creative services industry, and accommodation providers to help at this time. For support available for individuals, please click here.

For businesses:

  • There are different support packages available to micro-businesses, small to medium businesses, sole traders and small non-profits depending on your annual turnover.
  • Tailored payments are also available to support businesses in the creative arts sector with the cost of running productions. Visit the Create NSW website for more information.
  • Additional grants are available for accommodation providers who can demonstrate room cancellations during the school holiday period. More information is available at nsw.gov.au.

 

Business concierge

The NSW Government offers a free Business Concierge who can help you with information on grants, licenses, permits and regulations: call us on 13 77 88 Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm (AEST).

Information on COVID-19 business support

For information on COVID-19 financial support including eligibility criteria and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please visit the following pages:

Please note that accountants and tax practitioners are encouraged to contact their member or industry association for information.

COVID-19 Assistance Finder

Complete a 2-minute questionnaire and get a list of benefits and services in health and wellbeing, employment, skills and training, food, housing and finances, tailored specifically for you or your business: https://disasterassistance.service.nsw.gov.au/covid