Covid-19: To work or not to work?
What rights do employers have when a worker refuses to return to work if just being at work risks contracting Covid-19?
Stuff article: Workers afraid to go to work
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
"Right of worker to cease or refuse to carry out unsafe work"
83.1: A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker believes that carrying out the work would expose the worker, or any other person, to a serious risk to the worker's or other person's health or safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.
2: A worker may continue to refuse to carry out the work if:
(a) the worker attempts to resolve the matter with the PCBU as soon as practicable after first refusing to do the work; and
(b) the matter is not resolved; and
(c) the worker believes on reasonable grounds that carrying out the work would expose the worker or any other person to a serious risk to the worker's or other person's health or safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.
Communication is key here! The Prime Minister and the Health department with their daily updates are confident we are managing Covid-19, however this does not mean we must let our guard down. What part are YOU contributing to keep us all safe, to keep businesses in business, to get our economy back on track?
Businesses must demonstrate that they can operate in a safe environment protecting workers and others. Engaging with your workers on what control measures are being implemented to mitigate the risk of contracting Covid-19 is where we need to start.
Have you done enough to protect your business and its workers in this new environment?
Download the WorkSafe Covid-19 Pandemic Form below to assist your business.