Covid-19 Information and Guide for Labour Hire Staff
As of 15th March, the World Health Organisation has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic and the Australian Government has enacted its emergency plan. The critical message: stay alert but not anxious. As your employer, we have additional responsibilities to ensure our employees are kept safe during this health pandemic. Your host/site employer will also have steps to make sure the workplace remains a safe environment.
Townsville and North Queensland cases are low at this stage, however we are monitoring and will keep you up-to-date. Our mining labour-hire staff will received separate email communications in relation to potential quarantine processes, flights, etc if required.
In the event your host employer needs to pause work to prevent spread of the virus, and you have not received information from TP Human Capital, please notify our recruitment team or your usual contact immediately. Our office number is 4772 3800.
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in Australia or within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment.
You should call the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 meters between you and other people whenever possible and minimizing physical contact especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
There’s no need to change your daily routine but taking these social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
- Practicing good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defense against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 meters from people).
- Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.
What if an employer wants their employees to stay home as a precaution?
Under workplace health and safety laws, employers must ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace as far as is reasonably practicable. Workers also have responsibilities under those laws.
If an employee is at risk of infection from coronavirus (for example, because they’ve recently travelled overseas, or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus), employers should request that they seek medical clearance from a doctor and work from home (if this is a practical option – see below), or not work during the risk period. Employees can be directed to obtain medical clearance, which may include being tested for coronavirus, provided this is reasonable and based on factual information about health and safety risks.
You can find information on quarantine requirements on the Australian Government Department of Health’s website .
What about casual employees and independent contractors?
Casual employees do not have paid sick or carer’s leave entitlements under the National Employment Standards and usually are not entitled to be paid when they do not work (for example, if they miss a shift because they are sick due to coronavirus or because they are otherwise required to self-isolate). Casual employees are paid a casual loading instead of paid leave entitlements. Employers should also consider their obligations under any applicable enterprise agreement, award, employees’ employment contracts or workplace policies.
Independent contractors are not employees and do not have paid leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act. However, there are special provisions that deem contract outworkers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry to be employees for the purposes of most protections under the Fair Work Act. Where these provisions apply, the contract outworker should be treated as an employee.
DON'T PANIC, just be careful - Why Flattening the curve is important.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.
- FairWork - Coronavirus and Australian Workplace Laws
- World Health Organisation - Advice for the public - including Myth-busters
- Protect yourself and others from getting sick - wash your hands
- Protect yourself and others from getting sick - coughing and sneezing
- Protect others from getting sick - avoid close contact
- Coping with stress during 2019-nCoV outbreak