The Chief Health Officer (CHO) has issued a direction that provides for workers in certain essential industries to waive their isolation period after a COVID close contact. This new rule came into effect as of Wednesday 19 January.

The Order refers to utility and urban workers, meaning a person who directly provides “services to support the ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, liquid fuels and refinery services, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance”.

ASU has sought clarification on the application of this order from DELWP, who have advised that this is intended to be used as a last resort when the work to be performed necessitates attendance at a workplace.

Crucially, the order states that “The employer must not require an exempted worker to leave quarantine to work outside the premises designated for their self-quarantine if the exempted worker does not consent to do so.”

In other words, your employer cannot direct you to attend work when you are a close contact, they can only request that you do, and you have the right to refuse.

The full order can be found here.

For further information please contact:
ASU Member Contact Centre | 1300 855 570 |

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