Eligible employers can now register their critical worker roles online in preparation for when WA reaches a “very high caseload environment”.
When in effect, critical workers who are asymptomatic close contacts will be able to temporarily attend work during their isolation period to alleviate workforce shortages.
The critical worker settings are not yet in effect and will be implemented based on health advice. High caseload protocols are already in place, however, for new close contact definitions and testing and isolation protocols, the use of Rapid Antigen Tests and reduced quarantine provisions.
A critical worker is someone whose role cannot be undertaken at home and who performs a critical role:
- to the COVID-19 response;
- to continuation of critical services that prevent significant harm to an individual or community (including loss of life, catastrophic impacts to safety or welfare or lack of access to essential goods); or
- that is necessary for the safe continuation of services in an essential industry or provides specialist skills in an essential industry.
Eligible industries are:
- Transport, freight and logistics, including public transport;
- Food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing, supply and retail (e.g. supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies);
- Petrol stations and truck stops;
- Agriculture (for the purpose of food supply and biosecurity);
- Critical resources including mining, power, utilities, telecommunications and waste management services;
- Building and construction;
- Corrective and judicial services, police and emergency services;
- Schools (K-12) and childcare;
- Health care services, social assistance and residential care;
- Veterinary services;
- Funeral, crematorium and cemetery services; and
Employers can submit an online registration form via wa.gov.au, confirming their eligibility and how many critical roles they have identified.
Strict conditions apply for critical workers who attend work under these settings, with any critical worker who tests positive or develops symptoms no longer permitted to attend work.
Our Employee Relations Advice Centre is also available to respond to your questions on (08) 9365 7660, or via firstname.lastname@example.org.