The Fair Work Ombudsman has updated its guidance to employees and employers with respect to workplace rights noting the widespread flooding in NSW.
We recommend employers affected by the flooding (or with employees impacted by the flooding) review the guidance and make sure they understand their rights and obligations, including:
- All employees, including casuals, are entitled to take community service leave for certain voluntary emergency management activities (i.e., registered volunteers for the SES);
- Defence Reservists may be called to help with the floods. Defence Reservists have rights and protections when they are absent from work, including the right to be released from work and to continue to be employed on their return;
- Options with respect to standing down employees because of a stoppage of work caused by severe weather; and
- Properly considering and addressing new or heightened workplace health and safety risks, particularly where employees may need to travel through flood-affected areas to attend work or perform work.