The wave of COVID Omicron cases continues to impact Australians in their communities and workplaces.

The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are highly infectious and remain a serious health risk.

CPSU Delegates and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are stepping up and taking action to ensure effective COVID Outbreak Response Plans are implemented to keep members safe at work. We are supporting the call from Australia’s health experts for action to slow the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable people and our health system.

Australia’s health experts call on employers to act now

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, has called on employers to act now by implementing updated safety plans in his recent COVID update statement to the nation. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has also reiterated its advice on shorter reinfection periods, testing and isolation, mask wearing, vaccine boosters and treatments and called on employers to allow work from home if feasible.

COVID safe outbreak response plans must include at minimum

  1. Working from home where it is feasible or reasonably practicable for a worker to do so.
  2. Wearing masks in crowded areas and indoors when physical distancing is not possible or cannot be assured.
  3. Ensuring all workers, including casuals and labour hire, have access to paid leave when sick or isolating as a close contact or caring for a household member affected by COVID.
  4. Ensuring all workers can be vaccinated during normal - paid work time, including casuals and labour hire staff.
  5. Making available Rapid Antigen Tests available to workers in their workplaces and when potentially exposed to COVID in the conduct of their work.

While we cannot stop COVID infections, we can slow the spread and protect the vulnerable.

The CPSU is committed to do whatever is needed to protect the health of our members, their loved ones and support Australia’s health experts who are working to keep our communities safe.

Problem with your employer’s COVID outbreak response plan? We are here to help.

  • Members needing individual advice or assistance can call 1300 137 636.
  • Health and Safety Representatives can contact their local organiser or email the CPSU Safety Team.
  • Delegates can call their local organiser and use our delegates hotline via 1300 137 636.

If you’re not yet a member – join today .