Critical worker isolation exemptions for close contacts apply from 10 March 2022
The Government has announced that WA will move to a very high caseload setting from 12.01am on Thursday 10 March 2022.
This means that critical worker close contact isolation exemptions will apply from this date.
We encourage members to review the information below and ensure they understand the exemption requirements and how to adhere to them.
What is the purpose of the critical worker isolation exemption?
The exemption allows fully vaccinated, asymptomatic electrical workers, who have been deemed close contacts, to continue to work during their 7-day isolation period.
How do electrical workers qualify for the critical worker isolation exemption?
In order to qualify for an exemption to the close contact isolation rules, an employee must:
- Be deemed a close contact.
- Be fully vaccinated, including a booster. Unvaccinated staff are not eligible for an exemption to close contact isolation restrictions during Level 2 rules, regardless of their area of work.
- Have no COVID symptoms (ie. asymptomatic). As soon as an employee develops symptoms, they must stop working and follow the government's testing and isolation procedures for a close contact with symptoms.
- Correctly wear a mask at work, at all times.
- Ideally travel to work on their own or only with members of their own household.
- Avoid using public transport, if possible.
- Follow the standard close contact restrictions outside of work. The exemption to the isolation rules only applies during work hours. When an employee isn't working, they must return home and isolate like anyone else who has been deemed a close contact.
- Employees must undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) every day of their isolation period before they go to work and communicate the results to their employer on a daily basis. They can continue to work while the test results are negative, however they must immediately isolate if they return a positive test and follow the testing and isolation procedures for positive COVID-19 cases.
The testing and isolation protocols for critical workers who are close contacts can be found here.
Responsibilities for employers
- Your critical workers must be registered via this online form. Registration is a comprehensive process requiring a number of identification checks. Once you have submitted your form, you will receive a notification email with a unique identification number, which you need to retain for future reference. Any queries during the registration process can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Employers should only ask an employee to work during their isolation if there is no one else in the business available who ordinarily performs that work and is not subject to an isolation requirement.
- Your worker must consent to work during their isolation period. We recommend getting this consent in writing. You cannot compel a close contact to work during their isolation period.
- You must give your workers confirmation that they are critical workers. We recommend providing written confirmation and instructing staff to carry that communication with them.
- Provide sufficient RATs to your workers for the duration of their isolation period.
- Develop a system to record the RAT results of your critical workers who are working during their isolation period.
The Government’s Critical Worker Furloughing Guidance can be found here.
If you have any further questions regarding the above information, please give us a call on (08) 6241 6100 or email email@example.com.
Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice.