Your rights and responsibilities

< Back to COVID-19 Homepage

Public Sector

Please note the advice provided on these pages is intended as general advice.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the ANMF (SA Branch) Member Assist team via our Member Assist Form

We strongly encourage you to regularly check the updates be provided from SA Health and the Local Health Networks as this will provide you with the most up to date information.

A. If you are fit, well and presenting for work, yet you receive a direction from your employer to go home, you are entitled to be remunerated for the period you are not at work. You should not have to use your own accrued leave entitlements when directed away from the workplace at your employer’s discretion.

A. First, your employer should consider any capacity for these staff members to work from home where reasonable and practicable. Employers are encouraged to adopt more flexible arrangements wherever possible.

Where it is not practicable or appropriate for the employee to work from home, your employer has the discretion to approve up to 15 days Special Leave with Pay for COVID-19 under the South Australian Commissioner for Public Sector Employment issued a new determination: 3.1 Employment Conditions - Hours of Work, Overtime, and Leave:

If an employee is directed be their employer to stay home as a precaution and they are fit, well and presenting for work, they should not have to use their own accrued entitlements to cover the period of forced absence. They should therefore be paid during this time without having to use any of their accrued entitlements.

A. Public employees will be required to use their personal leave for this period. If personal leave is exhausted, an employee can access their annual leave. In recognition of the current need for additional flexibility in taking leave, and in accordance with Schedule 1, Part 4, clause 5(3) of the Public Sector Act, employees may apply to take annual/recreation leave on half salary. In this event, the period of leave is to be twice the period to which the employee would otherwise have been entitled. If you have exhausted your leave entitlements, you may be able to apply to the chief executive, agency head or their delegate to access special leave with pay of up to 15 days for COVID related absences. Please contact Member Assist for further advice.

If you believe that you contracted COVID-19 from work, we would encourage you to speak to your GP via a telehealth meeting and consider making a return to work claim to access income maintenance payments.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the ANMF (SA Branch) Member Assist team via our Member Assist Form

A. An employer has an obligation to make sure everyone at work is safe, so they can ask for a medical clearance where it is reasonable. In the case of COVID-19 concerns, this will depend on the circumstances, but should only be in a situation where:

  • A worker may have been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus; or
  • A worker may have travelled, transited or left a specific country or state.


A. Workers who contract COVID-19 in the course of their employment may be able to claim workers' compensation benefits for any time lost or medical care required.

However, it may be challenging to prove that work was the significant contributing cause of the injury in light of the growing number of community infections. You should contact the Duty Officer for assistance if you are unable to work due to contracting COVID-19 at work.

A. Where the duties carried out by an employee require regular COVID-19 testing under an Emergency Management Act 2004 (EM Act) or Public Health Act 2011 direction, any period waiting in line to be tested will be treated as paid work time, including reasonable travel time from their home or workplace to the testing facility. If required testing falls on a non-workday the employee will be paid the appropriate rate for the minimum hours of engagement under the relevant industrial instrument.

If required testing falls during a period of leave the employee will be re-credited one full day of the applicable leave for each day they are required to undergo testing. Evidence of testing may be required by the agency prior to the recrediting of leave.