The Law Society of Western Australia is closely following the situation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve in Australia and around the world. We are continuing to take measures to accord with those recommended by the Australian Government and are planning a scalable response.

Our aim is to continue to provide as many of the Society’s key functions as possible. The following measures will remain in place until such time as we advise otherwise. It will be ‘business as usual’ for the services not identified below as having changed arrangements.

This page is designed to be an information hub to keep our members informed with the latest updates:

Latest Information

WA Correctional Facility Entrant (Restrictions on Access) Directions

The WA Correctional Facility Entrant (Restrictions on Access) Directions came into effect on 12 November 2021. These Directions apply to any person who enters a correctional facility.

In particular, please note:

  • paragraph 5, which sets out the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements to enter a correctional facility;
  • paragraph 12 and Schedule 1, which sets out the facilities captured by ‘correctional facility’; and
  • paragraph 17, which defines ‘exempt person’.

The Department of Justice will provide further advice if the Courts become the subject of any mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Mandatory Vaccination Policy

On 20 October 2021, the State Government announced a mandatory vaccination policy, which takes a staged, risk-based approach across public and private sector industry and workforces.

The Law Society attended an urgent roundtable which was called by the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday, 29 October. The aim of the roundtable was to inform the implementation of the mandates, including clarification of the role of employers and employees as required to assist with the Chief Health Officer to finalise the Directions which will be applicable.

The following are the key points which were raised which may affect legal practitioners that work within the Correctional Services system which has been mandated as Group 1 Industries and Occupations need to know the following:

  1. Anyone entering a Correctional Services Facility (Facility) for work and doing so more than once a week that does not have a valid exemption will be required to have had their first vaccination by 1 December 2021 and be double vaccinated by 31 December 2021.
  2. You will need to provide proof of your vaccination status at the Facility to be able to enter it. Click here to see ways you are able to show your proof of vaccination.
  3. Vaccinations records must be kept by your employer. Employees must provide this information to their employer. Please note that DOJ is working with the Department of Health to have all prisons and the detention Centre declared vaccination zones where anyone entering prisons for any purpose will be required to be vaccinated as per the timetable listed above.
  4. DoJ are also working with the Department of Health on extending the Group 1 Industries and Occupations and this may be extended to capture the Courts and Tribunals. Further information will be provided to the legal profession if this occurs.
  5. Your employer must comply with any Public Health Directions that require vaccinations in specific industries. Fines for non compliance apply – Individuals face a $20,000 fine and they increase to $100,000 for employers.
  6. The Public Health Directions are in place for the period that the State of Emergency orders are in place.

The Chief Health Officer has provided public health advice on a range of industries and occupations, confirming that mandating is necessary to reasonably prevent, control or abate the serious public health risk and is proportionate to the serious public health risk. Information and Frequently Asked Questions have been published on the Department of Health’s website.

Law Society Activities

Committees, CPD and Events
The Law Society and Law Mutual (WA) will continue to operate business as usual, with staff working remotely from home.
Committees, our CPD and Risk Management programmes will continue as planned, however, all will be presented online. Any changes will be communicated to attendees.

Support for your Practice

Legal Practices should develop a contingency plan to deal with the COVID-19 in the workplace. This plan should identify risks and do what is reasonably practicable to minimise those risks – click here to read more.

Our CPD sessions are being delivered by webinar and you can also access eLearning to obtain all your CPD points.

Coronavirus information and support for businesses

The Federal Government is providing government support for Australian businesses; click below to find out more:

Operations at the business.gov.au 13 28 46 Contact Centre has been increased from five days per week to seven days per week, and will provide additional hours of support outside standard operating hours, answering calls from 7.00am to 11.00pm AEST.

‘Essential’ Legal Services

The Attorney General the Hon John Quigley MLA has acknowledged the important work of the profession and our members, saying in correspondence “I have no doubt that [Law Society] members are providing essential services to the community during this difficult time.”

The WA Government’s Prohibition on Regional Travel Directions provides that people performing an ‘essential service’ include those with specialist skills “required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operation, where the service is time-critical” and “any judicial officer or staff member of a court, tribunal or commission.” »Read full media statement

Temporary Industrial Relations Changes in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

»Read the member alert of 15 April 2020 for more information on industrial relations changes

Members should note recent industrial relations changes to provide employers in the WA legal profession with temporary flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members who are unsure whether these changes apply to their legal practice or employment, and the effect of the changes, should seek independent advice.

Notice to the Profession – CPD Audit 2020

The Legal Practice Board is aware that the recent spread of COVID-19 and the associated warnings and protective measures have created significant pressure for the profession, particularly with isolation and remote working arrangements. In the circumstances, the Board has made the decision that the routine annual CPD audit will not be conducted for the CPD year ending 31 March 2020. »Read full statement

Practitioners Taking Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney Instructions during COVID-19

The Law Institute of Victoria has released advice to practitioners on taking wills and enduring power of attorney, and the Queensland Law Society has developed a similar document.

Practitioners should note that Western Australian legislation differs from legislation in Victoria and Queensland, however the general principles and advice are useful.

Federal Government Advice

The Australian Government is continually updating its COVID-19 advice, information and resources. We advise Members to check for current information, including at:

or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.

Australian Taxation Office

There is support available for your business if you are experiencing difficulties with tax obligations:

Biosecurity Declaration
National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

The Prime Minister announced the establishment of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission on 25 March 2020.  The role of the Commission is to coordinate advice to the Australian Government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCCC has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead. Click here to download the template.

National COVID-19 safe workplace principles

The national COVID-19 safe workplace principles will apply to businesses and workers. The national workplace principles released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison were developed in consultation with union representatives, the COVID-19 Commission and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. »Read more

Safe Work Australia (SWA) provides extensive information on COVID-19 for workplaces to ensure work health and safety here.

Western Australian Government Advice

This link from the WA Government provides updates as new information becomes available.

Communications from Courts, Legal and Other Organisations

The Society will keep Members informed of advices issued by various Courts or the Department of Correctional Services (re prisons), etc. These will be included in Friday Facts or separately advised via Member Alert emails.

Click on the links below for further information:

Supporting your Health and Wellbeing

Law Society members have access to LawCare WA, including the member assistance programme through Converge International and we encourage you to utilise this service if you are experiencing any distress.

Being Well in the Law is a health and wellbeing resource for lawyers. The publication, originally developed by the Law Society of NSW, has been adapted by the Law Society of WA to ensure it is relevant to the needs of local lawyers and to reflect WA-specific resources.

Contact Us

The Law Society would like to assure you that we remain available to help you with any queries you may have by phone or email. Our phone number is (08) 9324 8600 (within Australia) or email us via info@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Quick Contacts

Department Phone Email
Reception (08) 9324 8600 reception@lawsocietywa.asn.au
Membership Inquiries (08) 9324 8692 membership@lawsocietywa.asn.au 
Find Your Lawyer Referral Service (08) 9324 8600 findalawyer@lawsocietywa.asn.au
Law Mutual (08) 9481 3111 info@lawmutualwa.com.au
CPD Support (08) 9324 8640 cpd@lawsocietywa.asn.au 
Old Court House Law Museum (08) 9324 8688 museum@lawsocietywa.asn.au
Francis Burt Law Education Services (08) 9324 8686 schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au
Media Inquiries (08) 9324 8650 communicationsofficer@lawsocietywa.asn.au 
Advertising (08) 9324 8650 advertising@lawsocietywa.asn.au  
Sponsorship (08) 9324 8650 sponsorship@lawsocietywa.asn.au 

Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to submit them in the textbox below.