Coronavirus FAQ

 

Please note, policies may vary depending on your workplace and frequently change as more initiatives are announced by the Government. If you have lost your job and have no source of income, we encourage you to apply for Newstart.

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Can I be sent home if I go to work sick?

If an employee arrives at work unwell they can be directed by the Principal to go home. Leave may be deducted from the employee’s sick leave balance.

 

I am required to care for a family or household member who is a vulnerable member of the community, what leave can I take?

If a staff member is required to be the primary carer for a vulnerable member of the community they can apply to the Principal for carer's leave.

 

What is the definition of a vulnerable person?

Queensland Health has determined those most at risk of serious infection if they contract COVID-19 are:

  • staff with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
  • staff with chronic medical conditions
  • staff over the age of 60 when combined with a chronic medical condition
  • staff who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly over the age of 50.

A vulnerable employee must in the first instance identify themselves to the principal to discuss their situation. Approved alternative arrangements will be discussed. Where they are unable to participate in any form of alternative arrangements they may apply for leave.

 

What happens if someone in my team is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Your Principal will likely be contacted by a public health official in the first instance to confirm the presence of a case. Your Regional Director (RD) or senior officer will liaise with the Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services, the DoE Executive Response Team and Queensland Health to assist you to navigate the next steps. Specific actions will be informed by the nature of each situation and based on advice from Queensland Health.

Actions may include contact tracing and a professional specialised disinfectant cleaning of the facilities. 

Schools or work units should only return to normal operations on the advice of health experts and where it is safe to do so.

 

Should I wear a mask as a precaution? I am currently not sick. Can someone request my mask be removed?

Advice from Queensland Health is that you do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public to prevent the spread of infections like coronavirus. Consequently, schools can request employees to remove face masks or other PPE if they are well.

 

What happens if I have booked an upcoming overseas holiday?

All travel overseas is now prohibited. We encourage you to get in contact with your airline if you haven't already been contacted.

 

Will my principal inform me should they know someone is being tested for COVID-19?  What information do they need to share with me?

Communications regarding a confirmed case will be directed by Queensland Health on a case-by-case basis with regard to privacy, contact tracing and to ensure people who may be at risk can manage their health conditions and undergo testing if required.  The Principal may not be aware if testing is of a family member of a staff member or student due to privacy legislation.  If it is ascertained that a confirmed individual has been in contact with you, Queensland health will advise you. 

 

Will I be informed if someone in my team/on my worksite is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Communications regarding a confirmed case will be directed by QH on a case-by-case basis with regard to privacy, contact tracing and to ensure people who may be at risk can manage their health conditions and undergo testing if required.

 

How far does notification extend to if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Communications regarding a confirmed case will be directed by Queensland Health on a case-by-case basis with regard to privacy, contact tracing and to ensure people who may be at risk can manage their health conditions and undergo testing if required. They will notify you if you need to notify immediate team members, the whole floor or building or other as required.

 

What leave applies for staff that are confirmed as having COVID-19?

Where a staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19 based on Queensland Health advice the employee can apply for paid sick leave. Alternatively, your employer may ask you to take annual leave or LSL. If you can prove that you contracted COVID-19 during the course of your employment you may be able to claim WorkCover. Your employer cannot legally terminate your employment if you contract COVID-19.

 

What leave applies for staff that choose to self-quarantine and this decision is not based on a direction from Queensland Health?

Where a staff member wishes to self-quarantine and working from home options are not possible, the employee is required to access either annual leave or long service leave. If the employee does not have enough paid leave entitlements to cover the period they are choosing to self-quarantine, the employee will need to apply for unpaid special leave. You must speak with your employer before you take leave.

 

What leave applies if I am required to care for a dependant who is required to self-quarantine or because of a school closure?

Where an employee is required to care for a family or household member who is in self-quarantine, or must remain at home as a result of a school closure, the employee can work from home, if possible, or apply for carers leave. 

 

What leave applies for staff that are already on leave and are required to self-quarantine?

The employee should remain on their planned leave. If the existing leave does not cover the 14 day quarantine period, the employee can apply for special leave for the remainder of this period.

 

What leave applies if a workplace is shut-down (excluding casual employees)?

Where an employee is directed to not attend their workplace and work at an alternative location or flexible work is not possible, the employee will receive their normal remuneration with no debit to leave balances.

 

Will casual staff also be paid?

Casual employees are not required to be paid. In certain circumstances, employers are providing paid leave for casual workers.

For further information please see the following video from Fair Work Employment Lawyers

 

 

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The Teachers' Professional Association of Queensland (TPAQ) - ABN 93 587 935 271 is an industrial association of employees, whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment. We are a non-party political alternative to the QTU and the IEU. Our membership fees are lower and reflective of costs rather than your salary. We provide all the same services, plus Professional Indemnity Insurance.