Natural Disasters and Your Employees


The recent natural disasters in Queensland and other areas have highlighted the importance of having clear and concise workplace policies dealing with extreme weather conditions, so as to prevent confusion as to who is entitled to what.

The situations outlined below provide a brief summary of an employer’s position in situations where a business is closed by a natural disaster or other unforseen event. It is important that the employer first consults any applicable award, employment or enterprise agreement, and seeks legal advice where appropriate.

1. An employee is unable to attend work due to extreme weather conditions

If there are no specific provisions in an applicable award or agreement, you may agree with the employee that they take either paid or unpaid annual leave.

2. The workplace is shutdown due to extreme weather conditions

Provided that there are no specific provisions in an applicable award or employment/enterprise agreement, employees may be able to be stood down without pay. If possible, have your employees take part in other paid work, such as cleaning up the workplace (please note that this should extended to those employees physically capable. Workplace health and safety requirements would continue to apply, and significant penalties can apply if these laws are breached). Please contact me if you require any help or have any questions.

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may also be interested in:

6 Things You Can Expect When Declaring Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy should be your last resort when you are faced with financial difficulties, whether as an individual or as a business owner. It is not exactly a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, as it comes with many adverse consequences, which may significantly impact your financial standing over a considerable period. So what consequences continue reading

How do you determine if a company is insolvent?

The answer to the question “How do you determine if a company is insolvent?” is important because there are serious consequences for a director if debts are incurred after the company has become insolvent, including civil penalties, compensation proceedings and criminal charges. However, it is often difficult to know when a company has crossed the continue reading

What to do if you receive an ATO Director Penalty Notice

Did you know that company directors may potentially become personally liable for unremitted Pay As You Go (PAYG) deductions and Superannuation Guarantee Charges (SGCs)? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has significant powers to recover a company’s unpaid liabilities personally through its directors and may issue a Director Penalty Notice (DPN). This article focuses on the continue reading

Liability Limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation | Website by VA