General Information Summary
Advice for your staff
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or tissues, and discard used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
- NSW Health advise “Face masks are not recommended for the general population”
Hotels and Hospitality Businesses
This includes information relating to hotel/hospitality businesses including guest isolation and the cleaning of rooms.
Hotel staff cannot work in hotels if they have:
- transited through a higher risk country that requires isolation (which currently includes Mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea);
- been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has prepared a range of FAQ’s relating to the coronavirus, employee leave and entitlements which can be accessed at the following link:
Tax Deductible Gifts
We have received queries about providing stood down employees (who are not otherwise entitled to pay) with some form of gift (e.g. an Eftpos gift Card) to support them during any period of closure.
A gift to an employee is a tax deduction to the employer and is not subject to superannuation and would not incur any additional payroll tax or workers compensation insurance. Using the gift card example, this would be considered “cash” and there is no GST that can be claimed.
That said, the provision of a gift to an employee is a fringe benefit and could be subject to fringe benefits tax. There is an exemption to fringe benefits tax for minor benefits which are defined as infrequent with a value of less than $300, hence if a member decided to do this for an employee a value of say $250 would be prudent.
You should contact your accountant for specific professional advice in these circumstances.
Work Health and Safety
Safe Work Australia has compiled information relevant to persons conducting a business or undertaking.
The below link contains information from SafeWork NSW.
It is recommended that PCBUs ensure an appropriate cleaner is used in regularly wiping down surfaces throughout venues (including door handles, tables and chairs, handrails, ATM’s and gaming machines etc.).
Staff should also be regularly reminded of the critical importance of maintaining hygiene in the workplace (such as the regular washing of hands and use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitisers which should be readily available for staff).
Room cleaning staff should avoid close contact with guests who have self-isolated. They should wear gloves while cleaning, and use alcohol hand rub before and after wearing gloves.
PCBUs also have an obligation to consult with other PCBUs (such as external contractors attending the venue) to ensure that they are also taking necessary steps to comply with WHS obligations. We recommend that members seek written assurances from external contractors (particularly cleaning staff) that they have implemented all necessary measures to comply with their own obligations in terms of following the advice of public health authorities.
We have consulted with a range of industry insurance brokers who have advised that, generally speaking, a downturn or stoppage of trade as a result of a global pandemic such as the coronavirus would not enliven an insurance claim for disruption of trade.
Members are however encouraged to make their own enquiries of their insurance broker should the circumstances arise as individual policies may vary.
Public/General Health and Responding to Customer Concerns
A range of information relating to public and general health can be accessed at the links below:
Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/no…
NSW Health Corona Virus FAQS: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pa…
The current advice (as previously communicated to members) is that face masks are not required to be worn by members of the general public.
In terms of dealing with customer enquiries around the safety of patrons attending member venues, we recommend that members assure their customers that all reasonable steps are being taken to mitigate against the risk of transmission of infection within the venue (with reference to standard and additional cleaning measures as recommended by public health authorities and SafeWork NSW).