The ASU is by your side every step of the way - this information is for ASU members and delegates regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus in the same family as the common cold. According to Australia’s Health Department, people with coronavirus may experience fever, flu-like symptoms and shortness of breath.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND SAFETY
COVID-19 is a health and safety risk for employees. Employers have obligations to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees and others.
Delegates should use the Coronavirus Workplace Checklist to ensure the safety of their workplace.
To find out more about the obligations employers have, download our full COVID-19 factsheet for ASU members.
Some older employees, or employees with immune suppression disorders may be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. In the event of an outbreak in Australia these employees should carefully consider their need to attend work and take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure.
For all the information about your work and Coronavirus, download the ASU COVID-19 Factsheet.
Full and part-time employees who can’t come to work because they are diagnosed with COVID-19 can take paid personal/carer’s leave.
Casual employees and independent contractors do not receive pay when they are not at work including when they are sick.
Employers should therefore consider specific measures to support casual employees and other insecure employees who are impacted by COVID-19 including the provision of paid “special leave”.
JobKeeper wage subsidy
Thanks to union members the Federal Government has announced that to keep people in jobs during the pandemic they are providing a wage subsidy to workers.
Through ASU Career Launchpad we held a live webinar with ACTU JobKeeper experts Chris Watts and Sunil Kemppi. You can now watch the live webinar on at a time that suits you, on-demand.
ASU Jobs Connect
Jons Connect is a free service for members to find work where there is now high demand.
We are working with employers across the country to help members get work at places where there is now high demand for more workers and where there are positions available.
These jobs are predominantly in community and disability services.
If you would like to access this free service, please complete the online form.
While we can’t guarantee that we will be able to find everyone a job or additional work, we are committed to supporting our members during this time
Frontline NDIS workers
A recent survey of disability workers found that many underlying problems in the sector was contributing to risk factors during the pandemic.
On Tuesday 28 April the Federal Government finally listened to ASU members and announced half a million more masks to go to the disability sector.
Support workers should be properly trained and paid when supporting someone with COVID-19. This can save lives.
We need a COVID-19 Care allowance for support workers in recognition of the higher risks and standards of care that must be taken when supporting someone with COVID-19.
You can help show the government that you are essential by taking action here.
On Saturday 21 March the Federal Government has made new announcements about COVID-19 and the NDIS.
The Government has not supported our call to guarantee that no disability worker to go without pay because of COVID-19 (due to isolation, or client cancellation or illness).
However the additional supports and funding they are giving NDIS services should be used by services to ensure workers continue to be employed and paid throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
On Friday 3 April we held a special briefing for ASU members working in the NDIS. You can watch the live recording of the conference here.
People with Disability and their families cannot be left alone to fight COVID-19. The Australian Services Union, National Disability Services, Health Services Union and the United Workers Union have developed a joint statement on the impacts of this crisis on NDIS participants and workforce, and call on the Government to take action.
Qantas Group Employees
Qantas Group has announced on 19 March that they will commence the stand-down of employees across the Group. This provides for stand-down without pay and means that staff remain employed but not required to attend work. Employees who are not stood-down will be required to do their normal duties. The ASU is urgently discussing every available option to keep jobs safe through this crisis.
Funding for Community organisations
ACOSS and the ASU are calling on the Government to support the community sector to respond to the COVID-19 health, social and economic crisis with these community sector rescue package recommendations.
On March 18, 2020 the ASU sent this letter to the NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward.
We have written demanding that additional funding is provided to community organisations for special leave for any workers impacted by COVID-19. The Government already provides 20 days of special leave to its own employees. They must now also provide this to organisations providing support to the community.
If you have questions on concerns about your health and safety at work, leave entitlements and job security, or any work related issue, don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9310 4000. You can also book a time for us to call you that is best for you.