Half of Queensland businesses experiencing major or critical workforce impacts

Friday 14 January, 2022 | By: Emma Clarke

Close to 50% of businesses have experienced major or critical constraints on staff availability in the four weeks since Queensland borders re-opened and the impact of the Omicron strain emerged in the state.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) data shows limited staff availability has most significantly impacted transport, postage and storage, accommodation and hospitality, construction, administration and support services and arts industries.

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said 85% of Queensland businesses had been unable to maintain normal operational hours or service delivery due to COVID-related impacts in the same period.

One in five businesses said they had experienced a critical constraint to their ability to trade as usual.

She said CCIQ had for months recommended businesses needed clarity and certainty around access to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) as a first line of defence for their staff and to help them plan for workforce shortages, return to work and ongoing recovery.

“Now we’re at a crunch point and a lack of availability of RATs is hindering businesses’ ability to re-open and recover,” Ms Rohan said.

“Businesses and individuals need free and wide access to RATs to give them peace of mind in knowing they can confidently plan their future ability to reopen and remain open.”

Ms Rohan said it was also important the isolation requirements of COVID-positive and close contact staff were consistently reviewed and essential industries were recognised.

“Employees need to get back to work as soon as practicable to allow the economy to get back to business, which we know national cabinet reviewed as recently as yesterday” Ms Rohan said.

"Where it's safe and practicable to do so, staff need to be getting back into the workforce, especially to limit any further supply chains and logistics disruptions.

“We know staff shortages are impacting businesses in some industries more than others and hospitality and tourism businesses especially have been on the frontline of managing COVID in the workplace.

“We’re hearing there is a need for those most impacted businesses to be financially supported.

“Any support package made available must be directly targeted and of joint state and federal support.”


Key figures

50% of businesses surveyed were experiencing major or critical staff shortages.

Impacted industries - transport, postage and storage, accommodation and hospitality, construction, administration and support services, arts and recreation

40% said they had major or critical supply chain disruptions

Impacted industries - Construction, electricity, gas, water and waste services, wholesale trade, healthcare and social assistance, and retail trade

40% said they had a major or critical impact to their ability to maintain operating hours / service requirements

Impacted industries - accommodation and hospitality, wholesale trade, transport, postage and storage, healthcare and social assistance


CCIQ media contact

Emma Clarke

Media and Communications Advisor