With recent media coverage around Tasmania’s plans for if/when COVID-19 arrives in Tasmania again, many employers are talking with employees about what might occur in their workplaces if there is a lockdown.

Some employers have suggested taking a hard-line approach and standing-down all employees, regardless of the type of work they perform.

Under Australian industrial law, an employer can only stand down an employee if all work has been stopped through no fault of the employer. That means, they cannot voluntarily shutdown their operations without paying you your normal wages for the period of the shutdown.

We expect employers to allow work to continue, whether that is essential work being done with appropriate PPE while in the ordinary workplace or working from home.

However, in the unusual circumstances that work cannot be done, the union expects employers to offer paid pandemic leave and continue to pay employees while they are off work through no fault of their own.

Pandemic leave and vaccination leave are vitally important to ensuring workers have the time they need to isolate, get tested and stay away from work when they are unwell.

Contact the ASU member contact centre on 1300 855 570 if your employer proposes something that does not sound quite right.

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