Information for New South Wales workplaces

Published 22 December 2020 | Updated 5 January 2021

We have information about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you’ve been affected by coronavirus restrictions in New South Wales (NSW).

On this page:

Restrictions in NSW

On 19 and 20 December 2020, the NSW Government announced new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. The restrictions are in place for a temporary period and apply to:

  • the Northern Beaches Local Government Area
  • Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong

Find out about the restrictions at NSW Government – COVID 19 external-icon.png.

We encourage employers and employees to work together to find solutions that work in their circumstances. If your work or workplace is affected, please talk to your employer or employees about your options and needs.

Available options include:

Face masks in New South Wales

People in New South Wales (NSW) are required to wear a face mask at certain times. Read the latest information on mask requirements on the NSW Government - COVID-19 website external-icon.png.

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When a workplace is closed, or an employee can't attend work

Alternative work arrangements

Some workplaces will need to consider alternative work arrangements if their workplace is impacted by, or their employees can’t attend work because of, the new restrictions. Employers and employees can consider:

  • working remotely, such as working from home
  • changes to hours of work, such as staggered start and finish times
  • changes to work duties, such as doing different duties at work.

Get more information on alternative work arrangements:

Employees and employers in the JobKeeper scheme may need to follow different rules for changing working arrangements. This includes changing employee duties and location or giving JobKeeper enabling stand down directions to employees. Check what applies at:

Taking leave

Some employees may need to take some form of leave if their workplace has temporarily closed or if they can’t attend work because of the new restrictions. This may be paid leave, such as annual leave or long services leave, or unpaid leave.

Find out your options and what entitlements and obligations apply at:

Employers may also issue directions to employees to take annual leave (or other leave) in certain situations. Find out the rules and entitlements that apply on our Directions to take annual leave page.

Employees may also be able to take sick or carer’s leave if they’re impacted by coronavirus and are unable to work. Check the options available at Quarantine and self-isolation: pay and leave options.

There may be different rules that apply for taking leave for employers and employees in the JobKeeper scheme. This may include rules about taking leave during a stand down.

More information:

Stand downs at work

Some employers may need to stand down staff during the restrictions. Learn about stand downs and the rules about them at work at Stand down – employer checklist to make sure you follow the right process and meet your employer obligations.

We have information about stand downs for employers and employees associated with the JobKeeper scheme at:

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Government support and assistance

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has introduced a Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for some workers during coronavirus. It is available to eligible workers in NSW. The payment is available to workers who:

  • don’t have appropriate leave entitlements and can’t earn an income because they need to self-isolate or quarantine due to a positive coronavirus case, or
  • are caring for someone with coronavirus.

For more information about the payment, eligibility requirements and how to claim it, visit Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment external-icon.png on Services Australia’s website.

Services Australia

For information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus, including payments and support, go to Services Australia external-icon.png.

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Contact information

If you have an urgent enquiry about your workplace obligations or entitlements, visit our Contact us page.

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