Scrap The Isolation Rule

  • May 1st, 2022 at 3:50 pm

Anne Nalder CEO & Founder of the Small Business Association of Australia recently penned a letter to the Australian Prime Minister, State Premiers & Territory Chief Ministers imploring them to scrap the self-isolation rule for close contacts of COVID-19. These restrictions have had a significant impact on numerous industries, and many of them have made it extremely difficult for small businesses to operate under these conditions.

The Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA) is an organisation representing 60, 000 small businesses plus 41 industry business organisations that represent individual types of businesses throughout Australia.

The SBAA is pleased to support the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association of Australia Inc in its request to scrap the COVID -19 self-isolation rules.

During the pandemic, small business did the heavy lifting. Many industries were brought to their knees due to the many financial & social pressures the corona virus placed upon them. The Restaurant & Catering Industry was hit especially hard by these restrictions due to the crossover with strict OH&S requirements and the impact of staff/ skill shortages during this time.

Many viable restaurants and their owners suffered immense financial losses with some never to recover. These damages are very real with the loss of homes, relationship breakdowns and in some cases, suicide.

The SBAA understands that the government has a responsibility to implement measures that would protect the general population with most individuals and industries complying with the various mandates.

Whilst Australia has a general unemployment figure of 4%, it faces severe challenges in the very near future such as rising interest rates, staff shortages and fuel increases. These challenges will affect businesses of all sizes and the economy generally with the real possibility of a recession.

Many of these rules are made by people who have never run a small business, they have never had to risk their own money, and if they make a mistake, it is the taxpayer that will bail them out.

Small business owners on the other hand and in this case, restaurant owners built their business with their own finances, risked their homes and their relationships, and provided work and opportunities for staff.

The restaurant and catering industry has lifted the standard of food and beverages over the decades that has showcased Australian cuisine creating a reputation that is they are amongst the very best in the world.

Australia cannot afford a skills shortage; it cannot afford more small businesses closures. 

The SBAA respectfully urges our Prime Minister and Premiers to scrap the self-isolation rules for close contacts.

During this skills shortage crisis, staff who are household close contacts are forced to self-isolate even if they test negative on a RAT/PCR COVID-19 test.

This is causing venues to shutdown resulting in stand-down of other staff and inventory wastage even though staff are healthy and tested negative for COVID-19.

Failure to address this situation will likely result in further adversity in the industry and will create serious implications for the Australian small business economy.

If you would like to to play an active role in adovcating or supporting small business advocay please contact us.