With the easing of restrictions late last year and the Omicron variant driving case numbers to new highs, workplaces are grappling with the issues that arise when a team member catches Coronavirus or is close to someone who has.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently updated their guidance to assist employers and employees in understanding how leave entitlements must be used.
Among other things, the guidance covers:
- Pay, leave and stand downs
- Quarantine and self-isolation: pay and leave
- Annual leave
- Sick and carer’s leave
- Unpaid leave and other paid leave
- Unpaid pandemic leave in awards
- Stand downs
We encourage all employers to make sure that they are across these rules and to get in touch if they have any questions.
Additionally, with many employees taking holidays at this time of year, it is worth noting that where an employee is sick or injured whilst on leave, they may be able to use their personal/carer’s leave entitlement instead of using their annual leave.
Lastly, employers must remember that they have an obligation to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. Safe Work Australia has a wealth of information on how to maintain COVID-19 safe workplaces.
Employers can also refer to the worker’s compensation authority in the state(s) in which they operate or to their worker’s compensation insurers for additional information.