Coming out of COVID-regulations – what does it mean for your business?

22nd February 2022

During COVID-19, many businesses experienced overhauls in their policies in order to keep up with constantly changing regulations.

This impacted not only business owners, but employees, rental providers and tenants too. While things have started to return to normal in Australia, it’s important to know what the current rules and policies are. This will help you make better decisions post COVID-19, whether at work, or at home.

Returning to the workplace post COVID-19 and contingency planning

Many businesses are now faced with a ‘return to normal’ after months in lockdown and working-from-home arrangements. Navigating your business post COVID-19 will vary according to your unique policies and discussions you’ve had with employees. For example, are you using a staged approach? What does this look like? You’ll also need to consider new health and safety regulations. Have these changed, and do your current policies reflect this?

Ensuring you’ve got clear messaging related to any changes in workplace policy is key for businesses on their return to normal post-covid. You may also have the future risk of another lockdown or pandemic playing on your mind. In this case, we can help you with contingency planning so you’re better prepared to tackle these challenging events when they arise.

Rights of rental providers and tenants post COVID-19

During the tough pandemic lockdowns, tenants were given some grace when it came to late payments and rent increases. And although this is changing again, there are still reasonable regulations in place to protect both tenants and rental providers from getting stung.

If you’ve been subject to unfair rent increases as a tenant, it’s important to know the regulations and your rights. For example, if your rental agreement was signed after June 19, 2019, your landlord can’t increase your rent more than once within a 12-month time period for specific dwellings. Rental providers must also outline details and use proper documentation for an increase in rent notice to be valid.

Rental providers are able to issue a notice for tenants to vacate, or raise the rent if this is outlined in your lease. Rental providers still need to give at least 60 days’ notice for an increase in rent. But this may change depending on the exact circumstances of your living arrangements, and tenants now have to provide proof of financial hardship to get a concession. If you’re seeking advice either as a rental provider or as a tenant, we can provide you with up-to-date information and guidance.

Representation for public liability exposure and COVID-19

Although you may have public liability insurance, there’s still some ambiguity surrounding exactly what’s covered when it comes to communicable diseases such as COVID-19. If your business hasn’t taken reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you could be at risk of direct public liability exposure.

Lakis & Knight can represent businesses in cases of public liability exposure directly related to COVID-19, and also help you understand what you can do to protect your business against these claims.

Get the guidance you need for your business post covid

With the constant and quick changes, business had to adapt to just to survive over the last few years, so it’s easy to feel confused about where you stand. Whether you’re a business owner, rental provider, or tenant trying to navigate your way through post-covid policies, get in touch with us today. We can help guide you with expert knowledge and legal advice, so you feel confident moving forward after covid.