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Feb 7, 2022News

Bulletin No: 2.22

We have recently had several enquiries regarding COVID-19 leave arrangements at Airport Link. We put these questions to Management in late January 2022 and had the following replies:

Is there any guidelines or procedures for employees regarding taking off leave while recovering or isolating from COVID-19?

We are using https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/support/workers#toc-paid-and-unpaid-leave as the guidelines.  I have spoken to individuals depending on their circumstances.

Is there a flow chart or procedure for somebody returning to work following isolating or recovering from COVID-19?

We are following the NSW guidelines (same website link as above) directing if a worker has tested positive for COVID-19, or isolating, they can then return to work after they have completed the required self-isolation period and don’t have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.  NSW Health send a SMS after 7 days and it is helpful to see that.  All the ALC employees impacted (to this point) have been good at keeping me informed of their circumstances. 

What’s the procedure in taking leave while isolating or recovering from COVID-19 in regard to sick leave/long service leave/annual leave or leave without pay?

Sick leave is normally taken but I have spoken to affected employees depending on their individual circumstances and what they would like to do.  

Is there a requirement or any evidence required by management on whether you are a close contact, are isolating, or whether you’ve contracted COVID?

Yes, the employee will provide me with the text message or NSW Health email or Services NSW confirming the positive case, or house hold member close contact.  On a few occasions that has not happened, or been unable to occur, so I accept their position on good faith. 

How is management treating workers who are of the view they have contracted it at work?

It has not occurred at this point.  We would have to address it at the time.  But the NSW Guidelines say that the individual would need a certificate from their doctor and then information about the claim and from that point we would advise WorkCover, for their assessment.

As reported in the RTBU Express January 2022

In early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Workers Compensation Act 1987 was amended to provide a presumption for essential workers (including in the rail passenger transport industry) that if they were to catch COVID, it is presumed it occurred at work. As an illness (or injury) that occurred at work, workers compensation is payable.

It may seem easier to simply claim sick leave for a few days off with COVID, however given that COVID can have longer term effects, it’s important to claim workers compensation to ensure you’re covered for anything that happens in the future. So, even if your employer doesn’t advise you to claim workers compensation, you should. The form can be found by clicking here. https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/resources-library/workers-compensation-resources/forms/workers-and-claims/SIRA08684-Workers-injury-claim-form.pdf  You may be required to have a GP complete a certificate to accompany the form. Simply fill it in and hand it to your manager.

Issued By: Wayne Moody OrganiserAuthorised By: Alex Claassens Branch Secretary

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