Employment issues and the CovidSafe App

The following is an extract from a statement issued by the President of the Fair Work Commission about the workplace implications of the CovidSafe app the use of which of course has been urged upon by the Commonwealth Government.

“COVIDSafe app

On 14 May 2020, the government passed legislation to support the COVIDSafe app, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020.

Amongst other new offences, the legislation makes it an offence for an employer to require an employee or prospective employee to download and use the app as a condition of employment, or to take adverse action against an employee or prospective employee for not doing so.

An employer will also contravene the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 if it takes adverse action against an employee or prospective employee for not downloading or using the app.

These provisions are contained in cl.94H(2) of the legislation.

Once the legislation receives Royal Assent, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates & advice and general protections pages on our website will be updated to reflect the expansion of the workplace rights protected under the Commission’s general protections disputes jurisdiction.”