Legal Aid WA is committed to providing quality legal services to the West Australian people. We will continue to provide legal assistance throughout the State during the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the community. This page has information for the Western Australian community about legal issues relating to COVID-19 and the services Legal Aid WA continues to provide. It links to resources and where you can get help. We will continue to update this page as the situation develops.
To see how we can help and to access our COVID-19 resources, click here.
The health and safety of all staff, clients and the wider community is always a top priority of Legal Aid WA. Several steps have been taken to ensure this continues. Employees who have returned to Australia from overseas or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 have been instructed to self-quarantine.
Staff are also self-distancing from fellow staff members and clients to minimise the level of person-to-person contact.
Additional cleaning services have been employed to clean and sanitise lift buttons, door handles and other surfaces both in the public and staff common areas. Extra hygiene products have also been provided throughout the Legal Aid WA offices to assist in the washing and sanitising of hands.
A dedicated response team has been formed to respond to the ever-changing status of COVID-19. This team in conjunction with the senior management team of Legal Aid WA continue to meet and monitor the impact on Legal Aid WA staff and the services they provide to the West Australian community.
Legal Aid WA would like to reinforce that all necessary precautions have been taken to protect and provide for the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and clients throughout this trying time. For this reason, clients may be asked questions relating to their health before meeting with a staff member or booking an appointment. This will determine the best way for our services to be delivered. That might be an appointment in person or via the telephone.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people in many ways. A range of legal problems are emerging following the rollout of measures such as self-isolating, quarantining and the shutdown of certain businesses.
Common legal problems during this time can include:
- employment issues such as pay, leave entitlements and dismissals
- financial hardship for individuals, families and businesses due to loss of income. This might mean being unable to pay bills or fines on time
- child support payments may be affected if a parent loses their job
- Centrelink issues, such as being unable to actively look for work
- tenancy issues, like not being able to pay your rent, or having signed a lease but being unable to travel to Australia
- disputes over refunds for cancelled events or travel plans
- impacts on parenting and contact arrangements for children
- people experiencing racism because of perceptions about where the virus came from.
Impact on the Western Australian justice system
Legal organisations, courts and tribunals across Western Australia are taking active steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. This means there are some changes to services. Please refer to the website of individual courts for details.
Reviewed: 18 March 2020