Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

We're here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The information on this website covers workplace laws, obligations and entitlements for:

  • employers and employees affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • employers and employees seeking COVID-19 vaccination guidance
  • employers and employees covered by awards varied by the Fair Work Commission during coronavirus.

We encourage employees and employers to work together to find solutions that suit their individual workplaces and circumstances.

Check out our News and updates section to see what's been updated recently.

COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace

When workplaces shut quickly because of a lockdown

Pay, leave and stand downs

Returning to work and the workplace

Health and safety in the workplace

Alternative work arrangements

Ending employment and redundancy

Former JobKeeper scheme

Changes to workplace laws during coronavirus

Tools and help during coronavirus

News and updates

21 September 2021

Closure of construction in metropolitan Melbourne

On 20 September 2021, the Victorian Government announced construction will shut down in metropolitan Melbourne and other affected areas currently in lockdown for 2 weeks from 11.59pm, Monday 20 September. Learn more at Victorian Government – Construction sector guidance external-icon.png.

If you work in the construction industry, find information on your workplace rights and obligations:

Stand downs

Employers may be able to stand employees down without pay during a sudden workplace closure that is outside the employer’s control. Find out more at Stand downs.

Payment during an enforceable government direction

An employer doesn’t have to pay an employee when they can’t work because of an enforceable government direction, unless the employee takes paid leave. Go to Enforceable government directions.

You can find out about government financial support during a workplace lockdown at Financial support.

Help from the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is the government body that provides information and assistance on workplace laws and entitlements for the construction industry. Get help from the ABCC at:

20 September 2021

COVID-19 vaccination public health order information

We’ve added a new page with information about public health orders and COVID-19 vaccination requirements at COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders.

You’ll find all relevant state and territory public health orders for COVID-19 vaccinations in one spot. We update this page regularly.

Vaccination requirements for Victorian construction workers

The Victorian Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for construction site workers. Find out about these requirements at Victorian Government – Information for construction workers external-icon.png.

Learn more about general COVID-19 vaccination workplace rights and responsibilities at COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations.

17 September 2021

Reminder: Changes to casual employment laws

By 27 September 2021, employers (other than small businesses) need to assess whether their existing casuals are eligible to be offered permanent employment.

For more information, visit Becoming a permanent employee.

Previous news and updates

To view a list of previous updates to our website, go to our Previous news and updates page.

About our information

We'll continue to update the information on our website as the situation develops and as needed. The information provided is current as at the time of the last update. It is not legal advice but represents the views of the Fair Work Ombudsman based on the best available information. We encourage you to regularly check this page for more information.