In consultation with your workers, you must put in place policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, including what workers must do if they are diagnosed or suspect they may have COVID-19.  

You must monitor your workers for key symptoms of COVID-19 which are: 

  • fever 
  • coughing 
  • a sore throat 
  • fatigue, and 
  • shortness of breath. 

What do I need to monitor?

You must require workers to report to you as soon as possible, including if they are working from home: 

  • if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19  
  • if they have been, or have potentially been, exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 (even if the person who is suspected to have COVID-19 has not yet been tested), or 
  • if they have undertaken, or are planning to undertake, any travel. 

COVID-19 in the workplace

You must require workers to leave the workplace if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Follow the information in our Suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at work infographic and see also our information on COVID-19 in the workplace. 

If a worker has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19 you must allow them to continue to access available entitlements, including leave according to relevant workplace laws (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 Cth) and the worker’s relevant industrial instrument such as an enterprise agreement, award, contract of employment or associated workplace policy.  

For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

You must not allow workers who have been isolated after having been tested positive for COVID-19 to return to the workplace (that is not their home) until they are cleared of the virus. Workers who have completed a 14-day quarantine period and who did not develop symptoms during quarantine do not need a medical clearance to return to work. 

Can a worker work from home while they are in isolation?

Yes - if your worker is fit for work and this is consistent with advice from their treating clinician. Asymptomatic workers can work from home during the isolation period, with appropriate measures in place for household members, subject to the direction or advice of their treating clinician. 

If your worker is unfit for work you must allow them to continue to access available entitlements, including leave according to relevant workplace laws (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 Cth) and the worker’s relevant industrial instrument. For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

Can I conduct temperature checks on workers or others?

You may want to monitor the health of your workers through administering temperature checks, as a preventative measure in managing a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace. There may be times where this is required or reasonable, for example, where workers live together in accommodation such as FIFO or agricultural workers or in workplaces where vulnerable people are present, such as hospitals and aged care facilities.  

However, for many workplaces, there may be little benefit in conducting temperature checks on workers or others. This is because temperature checks will not tell you whether a person has COVID-19. It will only identify symptoms. It is possible that a person may be asymptomatic or be on medication that reduces their temperature. It is also possible that the person may have a temperature for another reason unrelated to COVID-19.  

You should implement known controls, such as good hygiene measures, physical distancing (keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart), workplace cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE) rather than only relying on temperature checks. You should also require workers to tell you if they are feeling unwell, including if they have a fever, and require them to go home when they do. 

Before administering temperature checks: 

  • seek the advice of your public health authority on the appropriate method of temperature checking, equipment, PPE and control measures required to ensure safe testing 
  • consult with your workers, and their health and safety representatives, and take their views into account 
  • provide instruction to all workers on the process for temperature checks, including emphasising the importance of maintaining the other control measures 
  • provide information, training, instruction and supervision, as well appropriate PPE for workers conducting temperature checks, and 
  • get advice on leave/stand down arrangements for employees who register high temperatures. 

How do I know when a worker is cleared to return to the workplace after having COVID-19 or being subject to self-isolation requirements?

Workers who have been isolated after having been tested positive for COVID-19 can return to their workplace (when not working from home) when they have fully recovered and have met the criteria for clearance from isolation. The criteria may vary depending on circumstances of the workplace and states and territories may manage clearance from isolation differently. Clearance may need to be given by the public health authority or the person’s treating clinician.  

Workers who have completed a 14-day quarantine period (either after returning from travel or because of close contact with a confirmed case), and who did not develop symptoms during quarantine, do not need a medical clearance to return to the workplace. You should not ask these workers to be tested for COVID-19 in order to return to work. 

 

In consultation with your workers, you must put in place policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, including what workers must do if they are diagnosed or suspect they may have COVID-19.  

You must monitor your workers for key symptoms of COVID-19 which are: 

  • fever 
  • coughing 
  • a sore throat 
  • fatigue, and 
  • shortness of breath. 

What do I need to monitor?

You must require workers to report to you as soon as possible, including if they are working from home: 

  • if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19  
  • if they have been, or have potentially been, exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 (even if the person who is suspected to have COVID-19 has not yet been tested), or 
  • if they have undertaken, or are planning to undertake, any travel. 

COVID-19 in the workplace

You must require workers to leave the workplace if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Follow the information in our Suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at work infographic and see also our information on COVID-19 in the workplace. 

If a worker has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19 you must allow them to continue to access available entitlements, including leave according to relevant workplace laws (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 Cth) and the worker’s relevant industrial instrument such as an enterprise agreement, award, contract of employment or associated workplace policy.  

For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

You must not allow workers who have been isolated after having been tested positive for COVID-19 to return to the workplace (that is not their home) until they are cleared of the virus. Workers who have completed a 14-day quarantine period and who did not develop symptoms during quarantine do not need a medical clearance to return to work. 

Can a worker work from home while they are in isolation?

Yes - if your worker is fit for work and this is consistent with advice from their treating clinician. Asymptomatic workers can work from home during the isolation period, with appropriate measures in place for household members, subject to the direction or advice of their treating clinician. 

If your worker is unfit for work you must allow them to continue to access available entitlements, including leave according to relevant workplace laws (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 Cth) and the worker’s relevant industrial instrument. For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

Can I conduct temperature checks on workers or others?

You may want to monitor the health of your workers through administering temperature checks, as a preventative measure in managing a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace. There may be times where this is required or reasonable, for example, where workers live together in accommodation such as FIFO or agricultural workers or in workplaces where vulnerable people are present, such as hospitals and aged care facilities.  

However, for many workplaces, there may be little benefit in conducting temperature checks on workers or others. This is because temperature checks will not tell you whether a person has COVID-19. It will only identify symptoms. It is possible that a person may be asymptomatic or be on medication that reduces their temperature. It is also possible that the person may have a temperature for another reason unrelated to COVID-19.  

You should implement known controls, such as good hygiene measures, physical distancing (keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart), workplace cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE) rather than only relying on temperature checks. You should also require workers to tell you if they are feeling unwell, including if they have a fever, and require them to go home when they do. 

Before administering temperature checks: 

  • seek the advice of your public health authority on the appropriate method of temperature checking, equipment, PPE and control measures required to ensure safe testing 
  • consult with your workers, and their health and safety representatives, and take their views into account 
  • provide instruction to all workers on the process for temperature checks, including emphasising the importance of maintaining the other control measures 
  • provide information, training, instruction and supervision, as well appropriate PPE for workers conducting temperature checks, and 
  • get advice on leave/stand down arrangements for employees who register high temperatures. 

How do I know when a worker is cleared to return to the workplace after having COVID-19 or being subject to self-isolation requirements?

Workers who have been isolated after having been tested positive for COVID-19 can return to their workplace (when not working from home) when they have fully recovered and have met the criteria for clearance from isolation. The criteria may vary depending on circumstances of the workplace and states and territories may manage clearance from isolation differently. Clearance may need to be given by the public health authority or the person’s treating clinician.  

Workers who have completed a 14-day quarantine period (either after returning from travel or because of close contact with a confirmed case), and who did not develop symptoms during quarantine, do not need a medical clearance to return to the workplace. You should not ask these workers to be tested for COVID-19 in order to return to work. 

You must follow your employer’s policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, including directions about what you must do if you are diagnosed or suspect you may have COVID-19.  

You must report to your employer as soon as possible, even if you are working from home: 

  • if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19  
  • if you have been, or have potentially been, exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 (even if the person who is suspected to have COVID-19 has not yet been tested), or 
  • if you have undertaken, or are planning to undertake, any travel. 

The key symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • fever 
  • coughing 
  • a sore throat 
  • fatigue, and 
  • shortness of breath. 

Your employer must consult with you and your relevant health and safety representative before implementing health monitoring measures. 

COVID-19 in the workplace

You will need to leave the workplace, if you are not working from home, if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Follow the information in our Suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at work infographic and see also our information on COVID-19 in your workplace. 

You are entitled to access available entitlements, including leave under relevant workplace laws, (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 Cth), and a relevant industrial instrument such as an enterprise agreement, award, contract of employment or associated workplace policy.  

For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

If you have been isolated after having tested positive for COVID-19, you must not return to the workplace (that is not your home) until you are cleared of the virus.  

If you have completed a 14-day quarantine period and did not develop symptoms during quarantine, you do not need a medical clearance to return to work. 

Can I work from home while in isolation?

Yes - if you are fit for work and this is consistent with advice from your treating clinician.  

Asymptomatic workers can work from home during the isolation period, with appropriate measures in place for household members, subject to the direction or advice of their treating clinician. 

If you are unfit for work you are entitled to access available entitlements, including leave according to relevant workplace laws (e.g. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or a relevant industrial instrument). For information about workplace entitlements and obligations: 

Can my employer conduct temperature checks on me?

Your employer may want to monitor the health of their workers through administering temperature checks, as a preventative measure in managing a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace. There may be times where this is required or reasonable, for example, where workers live together in accommodation such as FIFO or agricultural workers or in workplaces where vulnerable people are present, such as hospitals and aged care facilities.  

However, for many workplaces, there may be little benefit in conducting temperature checks. This is because temperature checks will not tell your employer whether a person has COVID-19. It will only identify symptoms. It is possible that a person may be asymptomatic or be on medication that reduces their temperature. It is also possible that the person may have a temperature for another reason unrelated to COVID-19.  

Your employer must consult with you and your relevant health and safety representative if they are considering implementing temperature checks. 

How do I know I am cleared to return to the workplace after having COVID-19 or being subject to self-isolation requirements?

If you have been isolated after having been tested positive for COVID-19, you can return to your workplace (when not working from home) when you have fully recovered and have met the criteria for clearance from isolation. The criteria may vary depending on circumstances of the workplace and states and territories may manage clearance from isolation differently. Clearance may need to be given by the public health authority or your treating clinician.  

If you have completed a 14-day quarantine period (either after returning from travel or because of close contact with a confirmed case) and did not develop symptoms during quarantine, you do not need a medical clearance to return to the workplace. Your employer should not ask you to be tested for COVID-19 in order to return to work. 

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