Resolving workplace issues during coronavirus

Published 20 May 2020 | Updated 7 July 2022

COVID-19 vaccinations – when you contact us

What we can help with

We can give you general information about coronavirus and Australian workplace laws under the Fair Work Act. This includes guidance about COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace.

Please read our COVID-19 vaccination information first before calling us. This is also the information that our staff use and will refer to when answering your question.

What we can't help with

There are some issues we can’t help with. This includes giving you a definite answer about:

  • whether you are an essential or authorised worker (this is set by your state or territory – visit your state or territory government website)
  • whether your direction or your employer's direction to get vaccinated is lawful and reasonable
  • whether you have been unfairly dismissed or adversely affected because of your vaccination status (the Fair Work Commission external-icon.png can advise on the process for lodging an unfair dismissal or general protections application)
  • the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations or other health information about vaccines
  • hypothetical situations.

If we can’t answer your question, we will do what we can to give you general guidance and information that’s relevant to you. This could include a referral to another government body or letting you know the options available to you if you’re experiencing an issue at work.

When you contact us

We’re currently experiencing a high volume of enquiries due to COVID 19. Our staff work hard to resolve your enquiries. When you contact us, we expect that you are cooperative, courteous and respectful. Please note our staff may terminate a call that becomes unreasonable, abusive, or aggressive. Read more about what you can expect from us and what we expect from you in Our commitment to you.

We encourage employers and employees to work together to find solutions that suit their individual workplaces and needs. Find out how to resolve a workplace issue and ask for our help if you need it.

What you can do

From time to time, issues and disagreements can arise at work. Resolving workplace issues on your own can be quick and easy with the right information and tools. In our experience, most workplace issues can be resolved by employers and employees together at the workplace.

Common issues

Some common workplace issues during coronavirus include:

Make sure you read our information first to understand what rules and responsibilities apply to your situation.

Steps to take

There are some simple steps you can take to help you resolve any issues quickly and effectively. These include:

  1. Make sure you understand what rules apply to your situation – go to our COVID-19 homepage and read about your workplace topic.
  2. Make a time to talk to your employer or employee – read more at Communication in the workplace.
  3. Prepare for the conversation – take our quick course on having difficult conversations at work in our Online learning centre.

Learn more on what you can do to prepare yourself at Checklist for resolving issues in the workplace.

Use our tools and resources

Our main website has more information and guidance about resolving workplace issues. Visit Workplace problems.

Our guides to difficult conversations will help you have an effective conversation in the workplace to address workplace concerns. Even if an employment relationship has ended, we encourage you to try to work out issues between yourselves before making a formal request to us for help.

Download our guides:

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Ask for our help

To ask for our help with resolving a workplace issue, please contact us. You can call us or lodge an online enquiry.

We’ll ask you for information about the workplace issues you’re trying to resolve. We may refer you to another government agency or department where appropriate.

COVID-19 vaccinations

If your workplace issue related to COVID-19 vaccinations, please read our COVID-19 vaccination information first before calling us. We also have specific information about resolving COVID-19 vaccinations issues at work. Learn more at COVID-19 vaccinations: resolving workplace issues.

Referrals to other government agencies or departments

If it’s more appropriate for another government agency or department to help you with resolving a workplace issue, we’ll give you information about who to contact to get the right help. For example, this may include a referral to the ATO or the Commission.

For a list of assistance on a range of topics, see Other government information and assistance.

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