COVID Ain’t Over

It might not dominate our thoughts or daily lives as it once did but COVID isn’t over – and it’s a Work, Health, and Safety issue. 

So, if you have symptoms – don’t come to work. Yes, even if your RAT is negative as they aren’t well known for their reliability. 

The Department for Education, Children and Young People is one of few agencies to have recently updated its COVID-safe plan, to support workers in schools. You can find the plan here.

The key message? A negative test isn’t your ticket to play: if you have cold or flu symptoms, you should stay at home. This applies to staff, students and visitors.

Your employer should help to facilitate you to working at home, where possible, to stop the spread or potential transmission in the workplace. 

If you’re sick and worried about your leave balance, then talk to your manager about options. Don’t forget in the State Service there is an extension of existing special leave regulation: Special Leave on account of COVID-19, which allows for a period of 20 days (applied on a pro rata basis) in a number of circumstances (and also applies to casual, relief, seasonal and sessional employees): 

(a) the relevant employee has exhausted his or her personal leave entitlements and –  
(i) has contracted COVID-19; or  
(ii) is required to provide care or support to a member of the relevant employee’s immediate family or household who has contracted COVID-19; or  
(b) the relevant employee –  
(i) is required to enter isolation in accordance with a direction made in relation to an authorisation of emergency powers made under section 40 of the Emergency Management Act 2006 or a direction made under section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997 ; or  
(ii) is responsible for providing care or support to a member of the relevant employee’s immediate family or household who is unable to attend school or other care arrangements, due to the school or care arrangements being unavailable due to COVID-19; or  
(iii) is –  
(A) unable to work for any other reason relating to COVID-19; and  
(B) unable to work from home.  

A Head of Agency can grant a further period if necessary.

If you need advice, contact CPSUDirect at CPSUDirect@tas.cpsu.com.au  

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