Is it time for a Post-Pandemic Review of your Legal Documents?

16/11/2021

Employment Law

Is it time for a Post-Pandemic Review of your Legal Documents?

Much has changed over the past few years. Have your Legal documents kept pace? It is recommended you at least consider the following: 1️⃣ Does your Employment Handbook now need to include a Vaccination Policy + Work from Home Policy? 2️⃣ …

James D. Ford GAICD

Founder, M.D. & General Practice Lawyer

Contents

1️⃣ Does your Employment Handbook now need to include a Vaccination Policy + Work from Home Policy?

2️⃣ Do your Independent Contractor Agreements & Employment Contracts adequately cover Vaccination + Working from Home?

3️⃣ Have you reviewed your existing contracts to ensure they contain an adequate Force Majeure clause?

4️⃣ Is it time to take our Free Legal Health Check?

5️⃣ If you are a Company Director "carrying on a business in Australia" ⚖️ Have you applied for a Director ID?

1️⃣ Does your Employment Handbook now need to include a Vaccination Policy + Work from Home Policy?

Vaccination Policy

You may optionally include a vaccination policy in the handbook.

If included, the policy will recommend that all employees should be vaccinated.

The policy will not itself mandate vaccinations but will leave open the potential for mandatory vaccinations in appropriate circumstances.

Working from Home

The handbook will include a Working From Home Policy that:

  • enables eligible employees to apply to work from home; and
  • permits the employer to request/require employees to work from home in some circumstances (eg, a pandemic).

Home Office Health & Safety Checklist

As the employer will retain workplace health and safety obligations even when the employee is working remotely, you can optionally include a home office health and safety checklist as an attachment to the handbook.

If included, the policy will require employees to go through the checklist to self-assess their home working environments.

2️⃣ Do your Independent Contractor Agreements & Employment Contracts adequately cover Vaccination + Working from Home?

Working from Home

Many existing Independent Contractor Agreements & Employment Contracts will have been drafted prior to the pandemic and will most likely not have contemplated "Working from Home" arrangements, responsibilities and obligations.

Vaccination Status

What rights do you currently have to request your independent contractors +/or employees to provide Vaccination Status or Proof of Vaccination?

If your Independent Contractor Agreements & Employment Contracts are amended to compel display of vaccination status, then enforcing your rights to have this occur will be a much simpler process than would be the case if this scenario is not covered.

3️⃣ Have you reviewed your existing contracts to ensure they contain an adequate Force Majeure clause?

How confident are you that your existing or contemplated contracts will be enforceable in light of unexpected events such as the COVID-19 pandemic?

We recommend you read this article "Force Majeure Clauses & Frustration: Why the COVID-19 Pandemic is a Wake-Up Call" for a timely deep dive into the history and development of the common law precedents guiding interpretation and enforceability of force majeure clauses.

4️⃣ Is it time to take our Free Legal Health Check?

Do you know what legal risks you + your business face?

To help you get your legal affairs in order we have developed a free online Legal Health Check.

It covers both potential personal + business legal risks.

Call to Action: Click the above button or this link to complete your Free Legal Health Check

➲ Anytime + Anywhere

Our Free Legal Health Check is available on our website 24/7, from anywhere (including your mobile phone^) and generates instantly actionable results.

We strongly recommend you take full advantage of this innovative solution.

Further Reading: How to Achieve Zen-Like “Peace of Mind” knowing your Legal Affairs are in Order

5️⃣ If you are a Company Director "carrying on a business in Australia"

⚖️ Have you applied for a Director ID?

The Government is introducing a new requirement for directors to apply for a unique identification number (Director ID) from November 2021.

Director IDs are a part of a package of reforms to address illegal phoenix activity.

This initiative will be delivered by  Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), a newly established function of the ATO.

Further Reading: Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Resources: Director identification numbers are coming

Social Sharing Image: Courtesy of Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

Credits: This blog article was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This blog article is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.