Novel coronavirus, isolation periods and workplace relations

At the time of writing, the Department of Health recommends a 14-day isolation period in the following instances:

  • if you have travelled from Hubei Province within the past 14 days
  • if you have left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020
  • if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus

If an employee decides to self-isolate because one of the above criteria is true for them, they will need to arrange to work from home or to access some form of paid or unpaid leave.
If you want an employee to stay home because one of the above criteria is true for them, you can direct them to seek medical advice from a doctor. You can direct an employee to work from home, but if this isn’t possible you will still need to pay full- or part-time employees.
If an employee is placed in quarantine, it is up to both parties to come to a suitable arrangement during this period.  This agreement can include annual leave, personal leave if the employee is sick, or any other form of paid or unpaid leave available to the employee.
If an employee is sick with coronavirus, they are entitled to take personal leave for the duration of their illness.  If an employee is required to care for an immediate family member who is ill with the coronavirus, they are entitled to access carer’s leave.

Enterprise agreements may have additional rules or leave available to employees, for example infectious disease leave.  If you are unsure whether these situations apply to you, call Jobs Australia’s Workplace Relations Team on 1800 331 915.

For up-to-date information, visit the Department of Health's page on novel coronavirus here.