New Restric­tions in Place for NSW Work­ers | Update

By Michael Byrnes, Part­ner and Kat­ri­na Seck, Senior Associate

Effec­tive 18 July 2021, the New South Wales Gov­ern­ment has tight­ened stay at home orders in place across the Greater Syd­ney area (includ­ing the Blue Moun­tains, Cen­tral Coast, Wol­lon­gong and Shell­har­bour) in response to esca­lat­ing COVID-19 num­bers and expo­sure sites. The new restric­tions include:

  • The clo­sure of most retail premis­es with the excep­tion of those pro­vid­ing essen­tial prod­ucts and ser­vices; and
  • Restric­tions to main­te­nance and clean­ing ser­vices and a pause on con­struc­tion activity.

Peo­ple in the Greater Syd­ney area must stay at home unless there is a rea­son­able excuse not to do so. Specif­i­cal­ly, work­ers are only allowed to leave home for work if the busi­ness in which they work is allowed to stay open and they are unable to work from home.

The corol­lary of that is employ­ers must allow employ­ees to work from home if they rea­son­ably can and, in an increased effort to stop peo­ple inter­act­ing at work­places, now face penal­ties of up to $10,000 if they do not do so. If employ­ees are unable to work from home, and the work­place is allowed to be open, they must wear a face mask.

Employ­ees who live in the Fair­field, Liv­er­pool and Can­ter­bury-Bankstown local gov­ern­ment areas (LGA), which has borne the brunt of the most recent COVID-19 out­break, can­not leave that LGA for work unless they are an autho­rised” work­er and have a COVID-19 test every 72 hours. The New South Gov­ern­ment has pre­pared an autho­rised work­er list from 11 indus­try sec­tors. The autho­rised work­ers list is some­what broad­er than that fore­shad­owed by the gov­ern­ment at the press con­fer­ence on 17 July 2021

Res­i­dents of the Fair­field, Liv­er­pool and Can­ter­bury-Bankstown LGAs can, how­ev­er, go to work in the same LGA they live in if the busi­ness in which they work is allowed to be open, and they can­not work from home. 

The restric­tions are in place until mid­night on 30 July 2021. How­ev­er, with the num­ber of COVID-19 cas­es still stub­born­ly high, whether Syd­ney comes out of lock­down on that date remains to be seen. We will keep an eye on devel­op­ments and pro­vide updates as an when they occur.

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