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Stay safe & stay informed.

Government advice is changing daily.  

The best sources of up-to-date information on public health orders, restrictions & health advice are your local state/territory government & health departments.  

Information updated: Tuesday January 18, 2022

View the current restrictions in your state/territory:

To view all current restrictions in your state/territory, check your state/territory government website:

ACT NSW –  NT –  QLD  – SA –  TAS  – VIC –  WA

Book your vaccination appointment:

Find out how to register for your covid-19 vaccine in your state or territory:

ACT   –    NSW   –   NT   –     QLD    –    SA   –   TAS   –   VIC   –   WA

COVID-19 FAQs

Financial and other supports available:

The COVID-19 Disaster payment, which is no longer available, was a payment for workers who could not work due to Government health orders in effect during 2021. Payment amounts were tiered according to the number of hours of work each week.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster payment is a payment available to workers who are required to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, or care for someone required to do so.

Eligibility criteria may vary slightly across states and territories, but are generally that the worker:

  1. cannot earn income due to a requirement to self-isolate or quarantine because they have COVID-19 or have been a close contact of someone who does (having been directed by a health official) or is caring for a child who has COVID-19 or is a close contact of someone who does.
  2. is aged above 17 years old;
  3. lives in a state or territory;
  4. is an Australian resident or holds an eligible working visa;
  5. has no entitlement to relevant paid leave or has exhausted their entitlement;
  6. hasn’t received income or support during the period;
  7. has less than $10,000 available to them (eg in bank deposits).

The payments are:

  • $450 for workers who lose 8, but less than 20, hours of work;
  • $750 for workers who lose 20 or more hours of work.
  • Workers who lose less than 8 hours no longer receive any payment.


A second application may be made if required to isolate or quarantine for a longer period.

Victoria

 

$450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment

 

Available for eligible workers who:

 

  • are aged over 17 years old;
  • have been, or are the carer or guardian of someone who has been PCR tested for COVID-19;
  • were likely to work but not able to due to post-test self-isolation requirement;
  • did not receive any income for the period; and
  • have no entitlement to relevant leave or have exhausted their entitlement.

 

The payment cannot be received for the same period as the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

 

South Australia

$300 SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment

 

Available for eligible for workers who:

 

  • are required to and have undertaken a COVID-19 test because they have visited a declared exposure site;
  • have lost work due to the post-test self-isolation requirements; and
  • do not have access to paid leave or other income support.

 

Australian Capital Territory

 

COVID-19 Test Hardship Isolation Payment

$270 for the first 3 days’ isolation and $90/day thereafter (if test result delayed).

 

Available for eligible workers who:

 

  • reside or work in the ACT at least 80% of the time;
  • are unable to work, and are not receiving income as a result of post-test self-isolation requirements;
  • have no entitlement to relevant leave or have exhausted their entitlement;
  • have less than $5,000 available and are not receiving commonwealth income support.

 

The payment is not available to most Commonwealth and territory Government employees.

 

New South Wales

 

$320 Test and Isolate Support Payment

 

Available for eligible workers who:

 

  • are aged over 17 years and live in NSW;
  • have (or are a carer for someone who has) had a PCR test for COVID-19 on or after 9 September 2021;
  • are required to self-isolate while awaiting results;
  • expected to work, but could not due to the self-isolation;
  • cannot work from home, have no access to leave and derive no income.

The NSW Government's 60-day freeze on evictions for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak has now ended.

Applications for the Victorian Government's one-off Rent Relief Grant have now closed.

Yes, the Commonwealth Government and the NSW Government have come together to provide more funding for a number of services that provide support for mental health.

 

If you have been affected by the pandemic and the lockdown, and you would like to talk to someone, the following services will be receiving extra funding to support workers during this time:

 

Your rights at work:

COVID Tests and Isolation

The circumstances will vary depending on the nature of your employment. If you are a permanent employee, you should speak with your employer first about what they intend to do.

 

If you need further assistance, you should contact your fifa电竞观看比分 Organiser or the fifa电竞观看比分 for advice specific to your circumstances.

 

In most states (except WA), if a co-worker tests positive you will not be defined as a close contact for the purposes of requirements to isolate or access to payments.

You should let your employer know as soon as possible that you have to isolate.

 

Unless you are sick or caring for someone else, you are not likely to be able to access personal leave. You can request to take annual leave, if you have it available (including at half pay).

 

If you are not eligible for payment, see the above information in relation to accessing the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and other options that may be available.  

 

If your employment is threatened, you should contact the fifa电竞观看比分.

On 30 December 2021, National Cabinet announced changes to the definition of a close contact. A close contact is generally someone who lives with or has spent more than 4 hours in a household with a COVID-19 positive person (a.k.a. a household or household-like contact).

 

There are slight differences in the definition of who is a close contact across states and territories, with most states and territories adopting a definition similar to the Commonwealth definition but South Australia.

 

Western Australia has adopted a broader definition which define more people as close contacts.

 

Being defined as a close contact triggers the relevant requirements to isolate or quarantine. Anyone who is required to isolate or quarantine may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

A number of states and territories have exempted certain categories of workers from the isolation/quarantine requirements for close contacts:

 

Victoria

Exemption: Workers engaged in healthcare or the manufacturing, distribution or packaging of food and beverages (including retail supermarket workers) may be exempted from isolation/quarantine requirements. The exemption is opt-in for both workers and employers.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Worker must be asymptomatic;
  • Daily Rapid Antigen Tests for 5 days: must be negative prior to working;
  • Must wear face covering (N95/P2 recommended);
  • Cannot use shared break facilities; and
  • Worker and employer must consent.

 

New South Wales

Exemption: Critical workers in public administration and safety (i.e. police/fire), food and beverage manufacturing, transport and logistics, including food transport, and food retail may be exempted from isolation/quarantine requirements.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Worker must isolate if symptoms are present, and may only return after negative PCR test;
  • Daily Rapid Antigen Tests for 7 days after close contact;
  • Must wear a mask;
  • Worker must travel directly between residence and workplace; and
  • Exemption must be approved by employer.

 

 

Queensland

Exemption: Workers who perform critical roles in critical industries may be exempted from isolation/quarantine requirements. Critical industries include health, emergency services, food manufacturing, essential retail, freight and logistics and others.

 

Employers in these critical industries must create and submit a list of critical workers.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Worker must be asymptomatic;
  • Must be tested on day 6 of quarantine period and if symptoms present;
  • Must wear a mask indoors, as well as outdoors when unable to physically distance;
  • Must travel directly to and from work (except to refuel) using private transport;
  • Must physically distance from other people until end of quarantine period; and
  • Must be vaccinated.

 

Other states and territories are expected to adopt similar measures.

Stand downs

Traditionally industrial law has recognised a limited right for employers to “stand down” workers when they cannot be usefully employed because of something out of the employer’s control.

 

When a lawful stand down applies, workers are usually not entitled to be paid for the period of the stand down. Even if special stand down provisions do not apply, a stand down can probably occur in a partial sense: that is; only a discrete part of a business or only in relation to certain periods of work.

 

But for a stand down like this – where the arrangements are complex – each situation will be different, and the lawfulness of the stand down will depend on the circumstances.

Unfortunately, even in COVID-19 under the Fair Work Act stand downs are lawful. Here is a list of steps you can take if you are stood down.

 

  1. Clarify the nature of your employment and call your union. That means finding out whether you are being stood down and for how long, or whether you have lost your job.
  2. If you are being stood down, in some situations workers should still be paid, especially if the worker’s employer is eligible for ‘Jobkeeper-like’ government subsidies (including the recently announced COVID-19 Disaster Payment in NSW and other hotspots). If you are stood down call you union or delegate straight away.
  3. You should also check if you are employed under an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). Your EBA may say that an employer must first make best endeavours to find alternative work before standing you down.
  4. If you are not stood down but sent home during the lockdown, you could also push for special arrangements, like special leave or working at home arrangements.

No, stand downs should not be indefinite. During the pandemic we expect that longer stand downs might occur but there should be a specified end date (or review period). If you have not been stood down, and have instead lost your job, you may be eligible for redundancy.

You cannot be forced to take annual leave in lieu of being stood down but you can if you want to.

Unfortunately, you cannot access other personal leave like sick leave when on a stand down either.

Workers who lose their job permanently as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for redundancy pay. So, if you are not just stood down but have been told you have lost your job permanently than you should contact your union. If your employer failed to consult or make reasonable attempts to redeploy, then there also may be potential grounds for unfair dismissal application.

Vaccinations

An employer request to get a vaccine for work may be unreasonable or discriminatory where an employee has a genuine medical condition (which means that they are unable to get a vaccine), however, this will not be the case in all circumstances.

 

Generally, an employer will request a medical certificate (called a contraindication certificate) that is completed by a medical practitioner. Public Health Orders/Directives may also prescribe what these requirements are. As at 13 December, requirements are as follows (please check your State/Territory for more updated information):

 

ACT An exemption must be applied for. A contraindication certificate must be completed by an appropriate medical practitioner, here .
NSW An exemption must be applied for. A contraindication certificate must be completed by an appropriate medical practitioner, here .
NT A Commonwealth contraindication certificate can be completed by a doctor. It is available here , which must be submitted to the Australian Immunisation Register for assessment.
SA

An immunisation exemption application & certificate needs to be completed by a medical practitioner, here . This application and certificate needs to be emailed to [email protected] .

Your application for an exemption must be endorsed by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO). If approved, the CPHO will provide a signed exemption letter that can be provided to your employer.

Tas You will need to provide evidence of your exemption either recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or complete the form here , and provide it to your employer.
Vic

A Commonwealth contraindication certificate can be completed by a doctor. It is available here , which must be submitted to the Australian Immunisation Register for assessment.

Your exemption needs to be recorded on your Australian Immunisation Register, and you need to provide evidence of this as part of your COVID-19 digital certificate.

WA

A Commonwealth contraindication certificate can be completed by a doctor. It is available here , which must be submitted to the Australian Immunisation Register for assessment. Where an exemption is provided by them, this must be provided to your employer as proof of exemption.

A temporary exemption may also be sought from the Chief Health Officer. Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted to [email protected] . A temporary exemption will only last for a limited time and may be subject to terms and conditions.

 

An employee may also be able to establish that they are being discriminated against if reasonable adjustments to accommodate them aren’t made. However, in some cases a “reasonable adjustment” to accommodate someone who is unvaccinated, and so carries a risk that they might themselves be infected (and suffer serious illness), or infect others, might not be available. UWU members who are required to get vaccinated for work, who have a specific medical risk associated with the vaccination (that they can prove exists) and whose employer refuses to continue to engage them to work should contact the fifa电竞观看比分 for help on a case by case basis.

Generally speaking, an employer who asks for medical information, such as a person’s vaccination status, should keep that information private and secure. A worker is usually also entitled to be told the reason the information is being sought.


Public health directions may also mandate the disclosure of this information. In some circumstances, this information is required to be kept by the employer, other circumstances they are required to view the information and maintain their own record.

Provided an employer explains the purpose for the collection of this information, and how it will be kept confidential, a policy requiring a worker to provide information about their vaccination status is likely to be a reasonable request (taking into account similar considerations as apply when considering whether a mandatory vaccination policy is reasonable).

A worker may qualify for the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme if they suffer injury and loss of income. The Scheme will cover the costs of injuries above $1,000 due to a proven adverse reaction (where hospitalisation of 1 night is required). Further information is available here .

 

In the case of an adverse reaction to a COVID vaccine, it may be possible a worker to make a workers’ compensation claim. In order for a claim to be accepted, the worker will need to establish the causal connection between the vaccine side effect and employment (the test differs depending on which compensation legislation applies). You should call the fifa电竞观看比分 to discuss your circumstances.

Vaccine mandates are changing daily.

In general, medical exemptions are available.

National vaccine mandates

Aged care: The Commonwealth Government has issued a directive that all residential aged care workers must be fully vaccinated.

State based mandates

ACT

Residential aged care : workers are required to be vaccinated.

Education and ECEC : workers (including school cleaners and ancillary staff) are required to be vaccinated.

Health care : workers in health care settings are required to be vaccinated.

Disability support, in-home aged care and community services : workers in these industries are required to be fully vaccinated, where they come into contact with clients.

More information is available here .

NSW

NSW Roadmap : All staff over 16 years of age, who work in ‘eligible businesses’ are required to be vaccinated. Vaccination requirements apply to a significant number of industries, including: entertainment facilities, recreation, hospitality venues, weddings, funerals hairdressings , indoor recreation facilities, swimming pools, information and education facilities, gaming lounges and many other industries.

Health care workers, aged care, disability, home care, education (including school cleaners & maintenance) and ECEC workers are required to be vaccinated.

Airport and quarantine workers are required to be vaccinated.

Contractors and persons who attended most of the above facilities are also required to be vaccinated.

Details are here .

NT

Essential High-Risk Workers: The following workers are required to have had dose 1, and  be fully vaccinated by 24 December 2021:

  • Workers likely to meet people at risk of COVID – e.g., early childhood staff, disability care workers, personal care workers, hospitality workers.
  • Workers at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or who work in a high-risk setting – e.g., health care workers, food manufacturing, cold storage.
  • Workers in logistics and essential infrastructure – e.g., gas, water, sewerage or in emergency operations centres.

Full list of workers and further details here .  The above also includes volunteers.

Quarantine workers : Workers must be fully vaccinated.

Residential Aged Care Workers: Employees of aged care facilities and any workers who service an aged care facility, must be fully vaccinated.

QLD

Health workers (workers in health care settings) are required to be fully vaccinated from 15 December 2021 [1] . This includes public hospitals, private hospitals, residential aged care facilities, shared disability accommodation services, aged care services, general practitioner offices, pharmacies, optometrists, dental surgeries, community health clinics and blood collection centres.

Education settings (schools, kindergarten and ECEC), correction & detention facilities and airports : dose 1 by 17 December 2021 and dose 2 by 11.59 pm on 23 January 2022.

Hospitality venues, entertainment venues, casinos, convention centres, events, galleries, museums and similar , workers must be fully vaccinated by 17 December 2021 to attend work. [2] See here .

Quarantine facility services : must be fully vaccinated.

More details are available here . Public health direction is here .

SA

Health care setting, see details here : Workers in public and private hospitals, and health care settings must have received dose 1. They must receive dose 2 within the interval recommended by ATAGI.

Disabilities & in-home community and aged care : From 30 November 2021, all workers must have received dose 1 Dose 2 must be received within the interval recommended by ATAGI. More details are available here .

Education & early childhood : All workers must receive dose 1 by 10 December 2021 and receive dose 2 within the interval recommended by ATAGI. More details are available here .

Airports and Quarantine (including medi-hotels) : Workers must be fully vaccinated.

TAS

Quarantine service workers must be fully vaccinated.

Health care setting : Workers are required to be fully vaccinated. This includes non-health workers in medical or health facilities including security personnel, cleaners, and food preparation staff.

Disability support workers , are required to have receive dose 1 by 21 November 2021 and provide information to their employer regarding bookings for the second dose.

Hospitality (pubs, bars & licenced events) workers are required to have received dose 1 by 6 December 2021 and provide information to their employer regarding bookings for the second dose.

See details here .

VIC

Health care : Workers in healthcare settings [3] are required to show evidence of their full vaccination, or medical exemption, to their employer from Wednesday 15 December 2021.

Other industries : The following workers (including contractors, volunteers and students on placement) are required to be vaccinated (unless working from home):

  • Accommodation workers
  • Agriculture and forestry workers
  • Airport workers
  • Ancillary, support and welfare workers
  • Authorised officers
  • Care workers
  • Community workers
  • Creative arts workers
  • Custodial workers
  • Emergency service workers
  • Entertainment and function workers
  • Funeral workers
  • Higher education workers
  • Justice service centre workers and honorary justices
  • Marriage celebrants
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Meat and seafood processing workers
  • Media and film production workers
  • Mining workers
  • Physical recreation workers
  • Ports and freight workers
  • Professional sports, high-performance sports or racing person
  • Professional services workers
  • Public sector employees
  • Real estate workers
  • Religious workers
  • Repair and maintenance workers
  • Retail workers (including workers at food & drink facilities; licenced premises)
  • Science and technology workers
  • Social and community service workers
  • Transport workers
  • Utilities and urban workers
  • Veterinary and pet/animal care workers
  • Workers in residential aged care facilities
  • Workers at construction sites
  • Workers at school, childcare and early education services including outside school hours care services

See details here .

WA

Quarantine : Quarantine workers are required to be fully vaccinated.

Aged care/ambulance/paramedics : In addition to the Commonwealth Aged Care directive, any person working at a residential aged care facility (including ambulance officers/paramedics) must be fully vaccinated.

Health care workers/health support workers : must be fully vaccinated. ‘Health care workers’ includes ambulance officers/paramedics working and ‘health support workers’ includes all paid and voluntary workers onsite, including cleaners, food preparation staff, and security officers.

Workers in ‘high-risk’ occupations (Group 1) , see full list and details here : All workers in this category must have received their first dose by 1 December 2021 and must be fully vaccinated by 31 December 2021. Workers in this category include all workers in healthcare setting not covered by previous directive (above), workers in border and air transport industries, and workers in residential and non-residential community care services including disability workers.

Workers in ‘critical’ occupations (Group 2) , see full list and details here : All workers in this category must have received their first dose by 31 December 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022. Workers in this category include those working in supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and other hospitality venues, and early childhood education.

Workers in the Resources Sector : FIFO (fly-in-fly out) as well as local workers in WA mining and resource sites, workers in remote operations, or those who run critical infrastructure, must receive their first dose by 1 December 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

Vaccine mandates are changing daily, including for third doses (boosters).

State based THIRD DOSE mandates

ACT

Boosters are not mandatory in the ACT but are highly recommended.

More information is available here .

NSW

Some essential workers in NSW are will soon be required to receive a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.

This will include NSW Department of Education school-based staff, frontline disability and healthcare workers.

Details are here .

NT

Boosters are not mandatory in the Northern Territory but are highly recommended.

More information is available here .

QLD

Boosters are not mandatory in Queensland but are highly recommended.

More information is available here .

SA

From 29 January 2022, a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is now mandatory for all workers in health care settings.

All staff must have had, or have evidence of a booking to have, a booster within four weeks of becoming eligible. 

See details here.

TAS

Boosters are not mandatory in Tasmania but are highly recommended.

More information is available here .

VIC

From 12 January 2022, workers in key sectors who are already required to be fully vaccinated with two doses must get their third dose before being permitted to work on site.

This applies to healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facilities, quarantine accommodation and food processing and distribution workers (excluding retail).

This does not apply to workers who have a valid medical exemption.

Workers eligible for a third dose on or before Wednesday 12 January have until Saturday 12 February to get their third dose.

See details here .

WA

A third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is now mandatory for all workers in industries covered by a vaccine mandate.

Western Australia workers who come under an existing vaccine mandate are required to have a third dose within one month of eligibility.

See details here.

Most health directives generally do not require an employer to pay an employee or give them paid leave to go and get vaccinated. However, some employers are giving workers paid leave to go and get jabbed, and fifa电竞观看比分 members are pushing for employers to do this.

STAND UP FOR WORKING PEOPLE

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