Employers look forward to changes in close contact isolation rules

Businesses call on all states and territories to 'alleviate acute staff shortages'

Employers look forward to changes in close contact isolation rules

Different employers and businesses have recently welcomed the further easing of close contact isolation rules. As of date, New South Wales and Victoria have implemented the said changes.

The groups have expressed their optimism through a media release from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), saying that such a move will ease the “crippling workforce shortages that are hampering business and risking our post-pandemic recovery.”

The ACCI has also called on other state and territory governments to be in line with the changes already implemented by NSW and Victoria, as it said that businesses “cannot afford for close contact isolation requirements to be imposed any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

“Dropping close contact isolation rules for all workers who receive a negative test result will be critical to alleviating the acute staff absenteeism across the economy,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

The ACCI further said that more employees would be able to stay at work if all state and territory governments would join in the reintegration. “With more than one in five employers recording staff absences, this change will enable more employees to stay at work, ensuring businesses can keep their doors open and keep the economy moving,” McKellar said.

The groups had cited “acute staff absenteeism” as a “significant burden” on businesses that may “threaten to derail the economy.” They also said that gradual easing of COVID-19 isolation requirements is not enough since it only “acted as a partial release of the pressure valve,” the ACCI said.

“Over the Easter weekend we saw that businesses were forced to close their doors or significantly reduce their operating capacity due to staff shortages, while their healthy workers remained in isolation at home, unable to work,” McKellar noted.

ACCI remains vigilant in calling for changes to health policies while also ensuring that workers would be safe and healthy as they transition back to their offices. “Ensuring that as many workers as possible can safely return to the workplace will be critical to relieving the labour and supply chain pressures that tens of thousands of businesses are confronting right now,” McKellar added.

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