A: The Federal Government released a new policy, outlining that all overseas travellers returning to Australia from midnight Sunday 15 March 2020 will have to isolate for a period of 14 days.
Employees should contact their employer immediately if they are unable to attend work because they have returned from overseas and are required to enter quarantine or to self-isolate because of the coronavirus.
Where an employer directs a full-time or part-time employee to stay home in line with advice, for example in line with the Australian Government’s health and quarantine advice, and the employee is not sick with coronavirus, the employee should ordinarily be paid while the direction applies.
Casual employees are not entitled to be paid. The ANMF, along with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, are calling on the Federal Government to provide financial support for all workers impacted by COVID-19. View the media release here.
However, if an employee cannot work because they are subject to a government order requiring them to self-quarantine, the employee is not ordinarily entitled to be paid (unless they use leave entitlements). In this case, their inability to work is because of a government order, not because of their employer. Members should consider whether their entitlements may be impacted by any applicable enterprise agreement, employment contract or workplace policies, which may be more generous.