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:
- a sore throat
- fatigue, and
- shortness of breath.
For information on other health monitoring measures your employer may implement, see the employer information for health monitoring for this industry.
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 and have received any necessary clearances from state or territory health authorities.
If you have completed a specified 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
- in workplaces where vulnerable people are present, such as hospitals and aged care facilities, or
- if directed or recommended by state or territory (e.g. under public health orders).
Some states and territories may issue directions for temperature checks to be conducted in specific industries based on the local situation. Your employer will need to keep up to date with recommendations and directions that apply nationally, and in your state and territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace.
It is important to understand temperature checks alone 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 specified 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.