As of writing this blog, there are currently 40,169 active cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia (active COVID-19 cases are defined as people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days). Symptoms from COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, and some people recover within a few weeks whilst others can take much longer. Some common symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, coughing, a sore throat, fatigue, nausea and headaches.
You may be wondering whether or not a person could submit a workers’ compensation claim if they have tested positive for COVID-19? Below is some information that you may find helpful:
According to a statement released by Work Cover Western Australia in March 2020, ‘COVID-19 is compensable if, and only if, it has been contracted in the course of employment and the employment is a significant contributing factor to the contraction of the disease’.
As COVID-19 can be caught in many different public spaces, it can be challenging to determine the exact time and place of contracting the virus, and with this in mind, it can be difficult to confirm that employment was a significant contributing factor.
Please note that the claims process for COVID-19 is no different to any other workers’ compensation claim, and each claim is assessed on individual merit.
Measures Employers Can Take To Keep Employees Safe
To protect the health and safety of workers and visitors and to limit the spread of the coronavirus in Western Australia, employers can:
- Ensure your workplace is regularly cleaned and disinfected
- Encourage workers to frequently wash their hands and for at least 20 seconds
- Encourage employees with COVID-like symptoms to stay home
- Encourage employees to wear well-fitting masks
- Encourage employees to stay 1.5 metres apart where possible
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated from COVID-19
If You Develop COVID-19 Symptoms
If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 you should get tested immediately and stay at home until you receive a negative test result and follow the current guidance of the Western Australian Department of Health.