COVID-19 update - 6 April

6 April 2020

Your latest regular update. We'll continue to bring you the information you need, as it's available. Today, we look at COVID-19 resources now available in eDocs, how to handle travel in work vehicles, our campaign to promote builders, how WHSQ is responding to the crisis and tradies open for business, Urban Utilities update and our new Business Endurance webinars ...

This COVID-19 member update is unlocked and free to all in the interests of the building and construction industry. Did you know members have exclusive access to information and our team of experts who are on hand to assist in a range of ways? Need more specific COVID-19 advice relating to contracts, WHS, employment conditions or the relief measures? Members can contact us or learn how to join so you can speak with our experts and get free advice.

COVID-19 resources now available in eDocs

A selection of COVID-19 resources are now available for free in eDocs in a new dedicated COVID-19 area.

You can now access and complete electronically the Health disclosure form and the Keep your distance checklist.

Go contact-less with eDocs

Now is a great time to use eDocs to reduce in-person contact with clients. Using eDocs, not only can you create a range of head contracts and subcontracts, supporting documents and WHS documents; by utilising our electronic signature capabilities, you can limit the face-to-face contact required with clients.

That's a win-win right now.

Systems for remote work

During this time, not only is remote connection and work necessary, but it needs to be efficient with minimal disruption to productivity. Our Business Endurance IT webinar will give you the tools and tips you need to help keep things humming along with minimal roadblocks. We'll deep-dive into remote office working tools and tips and how to protect yourself and your business against the increase of cyber security threats.

Travelling in work vehicles

Two people who are not from the same household can travel together in a vehicle for work purposes. This includes a ute with only one row of seats. Your business should consider the following for vehicle travel:

  • Where possible all workers should take separate vehicles.
  • When travelling with another person, where possible have the passenger sit in the back row of seats furthest away from the driver.
  • If more than two people are required to travel together, additional vehicles should be used, so that no more than 2 people are travelling together.
  • Make sure the vehicle is regularly cleaned, and that shared surfaces like door handles are cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Builders & tradies open for business

We welcomed the news that the recent Queensland Government health directive confirmed that builders and tradies working in the home are exempt from the 2-person rule. A recent interview with the Prime Minister provided some reassurance that the building and construction industry will continue to be deemed an essential service for the foreseeable future.

Over the weekend, we launched a campaign on behalf of members, including radio live reads to be aired on stations across Queensland, reinforcing that the industry is open for business and following the rules.

As part of the campaign, we also issued a statement to media outlets confirming Queensland's builders and tradies are open for business. We explained how the industry is incredibly keen to show how they are complying with the social distancing and hygiene requirements.

For home and property owners, we believe it was important for them to know they don’t need to pull the plug on this kind of work – they currently have the choice.

We're urging members to remain vigilant and continue to use the resources we've developed, such as the Health disclosure form or the Notice for private premises clients form, to be used to demonstrate to clients the measures you're taking to ensure their health and safety and those of your workers.

WHSQ committed to helping during COVID-19 crisis

WHSQ have launched a COVID-19 hotline (1300 005 018) to assist workplaces with getting health and safety advice relevant to managing COVID-19.

So far the most popular enquiries have related to social distancing on site, numbers of people in hoists and lifts, maintaining social distancing during breaks and in lunch rooms, and solutions for maintaining good hygiene.

We've received advice from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) that they will be taking a ‘gentler’ approach to enforcement by winding back proactive inspections and giving inspectors more discretion in issuing infringements.

They are acutely aware that people are stressed and stretched and generally trying to do the right thing in regards to health and safety in the workplace.

In order to protect their health, inspectors will focus on reactive compliance only and assist people over the phone, via video conference, and if it is necessary for them to attend a workplace they will follow social distancing and hygiene rules.

It is important to remember that regardless of the new social distancing and hygiene rules, you are still required to comply with all general safety obligations. Whilst you need to be doing everything you can to keep your workers virus free, it is important that they remain injury free too.

Update from Urban Utilities

Urban Utilities have advised they are minimising the outage impacts for consumers when works are being performed on their water supply. A Water Outage Notification form should be submitted when booking live work audits.

Business Endurance webinars MEMBERS REGISTER FOR FREE

We've developed a brand new webinar series covering industry specific topics that relate to keeping your business going during COVID-19.

This free, live 45 minute webinar series will provide you with expert advice to help you through COVID-19 business challenges - particularly on topics like finance, HR, IT, contracts, health and safety and self-endurance.

Get expert business financial advice and strategies to help you through these turbulent times. Join Michael Renton, CEO of Xact Accounting, as he shares the information you need on:

  • Financial management during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Cost control and cashflow strategies, forecasting your cash and debt accumulation
  • Government grants and assistance.



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As usual, our staff are here to help. Whether you've got a question about protecting your business contractually, an employment or a health and safety question, our specialists are here and available to talk you through the options - get in touch.

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