Returning to work and the workplace

Published 29 May 2020 | Updated 29 March 2021

As coronavirus restrictions start easing, a number of industries and businesses are starting to operate again. This means that many employers and employees are planning their return to work or to the workplace.

We encourage employers and employees to work together cooperatively as they transition back to work. This includes planning for things like employees starting to work again after being stood down, making changes to start or finish times, or returning to work at their usual workplaces when they’ve been working from home or another location.

Changes to restrictions

The Australian Government has announced a national 3-step plan external-icon.png to relax coronavirus restrictions, with states and territories to decide when to implement these changes locally. The changes affect how and when employers and employees can go back to work or the workplace.

For up to date information about which restrictions are being eased in your state or territory, select from the list below:

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Planning the return to work

Before employers and employees return to work, it’s important that businesses have a plan to keep their workplace safe, healthy and free of coronavirus. It’s also important to review the plan regularly so it stays up to date as restrictions change.

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has an online planning tool external-icon.png to help employers develop this plan. These plans will help keep workers, customers and the community safe as businesses reopen or increase their activities.

As part of this planning, employers and employees need to consider their obligations under workplace health and safety laws in their state or territory.

More information:

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Resolving issues when returning to work

Employers and employees are encouraged to work together to find solutions that benefit both the workplace and affected individuals. For more information on dealing with conflicts and issues, visit Resolving workplace issues during coronavirus.

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