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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Practice Contingency Planning

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Practice Contingency Planning

By Peter Docherty

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Exposure to COVID-19 is a potential hazard for workers and other people in the workplace.  

Legal practitioners should be aware of Work Health and Safety (WHS) Laws which require businesses to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. This includes providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risk to health and safety.

To meet these obligations Legal Practices should develop a contingency plan to deal with the Covid-19 in the workplace.  This plan should identify risks and do what is reasonably practicable to minimise those risks.

To assist you the Australia Government Department of Health, Safe Work Australia and other associations have developed resources to assist you to monitor and respond to the Covid-19, including practical resources to share within your practice.
Tips to assist legal practitioners respond to Covid-19.

  • Closely monitor the Australian Government Department of Health, the Smartraveller website and any advice from state or territory government agencies.
  • Ensure workers are aware of the isolation/quarantine periods in accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health, include guidance when staff should not attend work.
  • Develop your own COVID contingency plan to deal with staff or related parties which may become infected, consider alternative staffing or work from home arrangements, examine the impact on your clients and your ongoing ethical obligations, share your plan with key stakeholders and establish an ongoing monitoring process.
  • Understand your legal obligations under Australian workplace law  
  • Review and communicate your practice WHS policies and measures for infection control.
  • Regularly review your own practice contingency plan

The LIV will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 and provide updated guidance on specific issues impacting the legal profession. Read the message from LIV: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert

 


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