WOSH Duty – identify operations that expose workers to Covid .e.g health care and implement reasonably practicable controls.
1 – eliminate exposure e.g. don’t take passengers in cab of tow truck/ work from home
2- isolate e.g. install physical barriers in a taxi
3 – substitute e.g. online/ telephone vs face to face
4 – issue PPE e.g. gloves
5 – implement administrative controls i.e. hand washing., cleaning. Consider the context when deciding on controls and consult.e.g. immune compromised or elderly staff
Can I send people home? If you can’t provide a safe workplace due to a persons vulnerability – Yes.
Is that discrimination? If you can’t make reasonable (cost, effort) adjustments to keep someone safe (see above) – No.
Can a worker claim workers comp? – If a worker gets COVID at work – Yes (how will you know). If someone cannot attend work due to personal health issues or contracting Covid elsewhere or concerns about family. – No.
Payment of wages – Workers are entitled to personal leave if they are unwell because of non work factors and may take annual leave if they do not wish to attend work but are well. Workplaces can agree to pay outside awards / industrial instruments if workers have no leave. Let’s not over complicate things.