Coronavirus in the workplace. 


Amid a worldwide health epidemic, Australian’s are joking that they “wouldn’t mind a couple of weeks off work” in relation to the quarantine period for individual suspected of being infected by the Covid-19 virus. Many Australian employers are now having to manage the impact on their business of staff members being quarantined or having to self-isolate.

What do you do if an employee gets sick or has to self-isolate?

The Australian Government Department of Health have said that staff cannot attend work if they have:

  • Left or travelled through mainland China in the last 14 days
  • Left or travelled through Iran on or after 1st March
  • Been in close contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus (Covid-19)

In addition, staff must remain in self-isolation for 14 days and until cleared of the virus.

The Fair Work Act does not have specific rules about what staff get paid if affected by a pandemic virus. This means that employers and employees need to come to their own arrangements. The FairWork Ombudsman has said, “arrangements may include:

  • Taking personal leave, or taking a combination of personal and annual leave, if the employee is sick
  • Taking annual leave if the employee is not sick but has to self-isolate
  • Taking any other leave available which has been accumulated, such as long service leave or any leave available under an award, enterprise agreement of contract of employment.
  • Taking any other paid or unpaid leave by agreement between the employee and the employer. “

If you would like to discuss this or any other HR issue, please call us 08 9316 9896, or email



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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.