? Health News
– There are now 150 cases associated with the Avalon cluster and 23 associated with the Berala cluster in Greater Sydney. Cases of community transmission are also on a slow rise in Brisbane and Melbourne.
– Greater Sydney (including the Wollongong region, Blue Mountains and Central Coast) are under more strict restrictions than the rest of NSW at the moment – see here for more details: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/greater-sydney If you have been in this area, be vigilant for symptoms, get tested straight away and wear a face mask indoors. The additional restrictions in the Northern Beaches area have now been lifted, and are in line with the rest of Greater Sydney.
– Restrictions have NOT changed for local government areas outside of Greater Sydney as yet, although there have been some case reports and location notifications for regional towns including Bermagui, Broken Hill, Eden, Nyngan and Orange.
– The Queensland and Victorian state borders remain heavily restricted for anyone who has been anywhere in NSW in the 14 days prior to entry – see here for the details: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorian-border-crossing-permit and https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/border-closing
– Greater Brisbane is on Day 3 of its city-wide lockdown while contact tracers work to contain the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 which was diagnosed there late last week. The Premier will announce at 10am AEDT whether the lockdown will continue or be lifted.
– The National Cabinet has imposed additional restrictions on arrivals from overseas, including halving the incoming passenger cap into Sydney (among other cities) and requiring a negative COVID test prior to departure from overseas. These new restrictions will come into effect on Friday 15 January 2021 and last until at least 15 February 2021.
ℹ COVID in the Workplace Update
– Electronic recording of patrons is now mandatory for a variety of businesses in NSW to ensure ease of COVID tracing – visit this website for the list: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/being-covid-safe/check-in
– Make sure your COVID-Safe plan is in place, and you are still adhering to it!
– JobKeeper: From 4 January 2021, employers must pay their eligible employees at least the correct JobKeeper amount of either $1,000 for tier 1 or $650 for tier 2. The new turnover form is now available. For all the details, visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/
? In Employment News:
– The epidemic of underpaying staff continues, with the ABC now reviewing the pay of almost 2,000 employees to check whether they have been paid correctly. Are you paying your staff correctly? If large organisations with dedicated HR and payroll departments can get it so wrong, it will pay for smaller businesses to check as well. For everything you need to know, check out our webinars about Payroll Pitfalls (an interview with Rachel Fenn, CEO of Early Bird Bookkeeping) and Are You Paying Your Staff Correctly.
– The next Australian Census will be held in August 2021, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics is hiring all over the country! Head to the ABS website for all the details.