Victoria records one new COVID-19 case, Qld border open to NSW, shut to Greater Sydney, Australia death toll at 90731st October 2020
“But it won’t be a wholesale on a particular day, it will be a consideration about what it means to be able to go back to workplaces and maintain that distance and not be packed into office spaces, which, you know, are obviously a higher risk in indoor setting.”
After a bit of back and forth with reporters about how COVID-19 safe workplaces might work in practical terms, such as queuing for lifts, Professor Sutton predicts the experience of this year could “change the workforce forever”.
“People have discovered things about how they can be supported in remote working arrangements ongoing, and maybe people will choose that for some of the flexibility and wellbeing issues that it manages to support,” he said.
How that would pan out would need to be negotiated at each workplace, he said.
“I think there’s obviously a benefit in people working from home, in terms of how much physical distancing is possible on public transport and how much physical distancing is possible in the office space,” he said.
“So, again, for people who are comfortable and happy and can be supported to work from home, that’s not an unreasonable thing to kind of embed, ongoing.”
Health Minister Martin Foley has also responded to this question, saying a balance would need to be struck between businesses managing their staff and health outcomes.
“How employers and their workforces negotiate these things as the Chief Health Officer has indicated has to be set against the health rules, but also against the real-world delivery of business plans and the impact economically,” he said.
Mr Foley said the state budget on November 24 would look to support businesses affected by the reduction of workers in areas such as the CBD.