COVID-19 in the workplace – Information for employers and employees

Steps to prevent and manage COVID-19 in the workplace.

  • Have a plan to manage COVID-19 in your workplace (external site) and update it regularly
  •  Encourage unwell staff to stay home
  • Consider working from home arrangements, where possible, for COVID-19 cases and close contacts (who are well enough to continue working).
  • Encourage physical distancing in the workplace
  • Provide soap and sanitiser
  • Maintain regular cleaning and disinfection. Pay attention to shared workspaces, restrooms, staff changing rooms, lift buttons, gym equipment, horizontal surfaces such as tables, chairs and other frequently touched surfaces
  • Follow advice for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and remind staff of any requirements for your workplace
  • Display posters and signage in the workplace with infection control messaging
  • Promote COVID-19 vaccination (external site)
  • Let staff know about your workplace’s COVID policies for staff who have COVID-19 (Healthy WA) or COVID-like symptoms, including any evidence needed to access leave.

Learn more about what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or become a close contact (Healthy WA).

Advice for staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms you should:

  • Stay home until symptoms have cleared
  • Do a rapid antigen test (RAT). If you test positive, register it online at HealthyWA
  • Tell your employer if you test positive and keep evidence of your positive result
  • Even if you test negative, stay home until your symptoms clear
Advice for close contacts

There are different recommendations for close contacts (HealthyWA) depending on whether or not you have symptoms, and whether you are a health care worker or not..

Asymptomatic close contacts, working in public health service facilities (such as public hospitals) must advise their employer that they are a close contact, and receive confirmation from their employer that they can attend work. The employer will determine if asymptomatic healthcare workers should attend work based on an individual risk assessment.

Healthcare workers should contact their workplace to confirm additional infection prevention and control measures for their workplace to help manage the risk of COVID-19.

Advice for asymptomatic close contacts:

  • Test if symptoms develop
  • Work from home if possible
  • Tell your employer you are a close contact

Advice for symptomatic close contacts:

  • Get tested
  • Tell your employer you are a close contact
  • Stay home for at least 5 days and until symptoms resolve
  • Don’t visit or work in hospitals or other high-risk settings for 7 days

Advice for asymptomatic close contacts who are healthcare workers:

  • Tell your employer you are a close contact
  • Discuss your return to work arrangements.
  • Confirm any additional infection prevention and control measures for your workplace.

Learn more about what to do if you become a close contact. (Healthy WA).

Advice for COVID-19 cases

Recommendations for people who test positive for COVID-19 include:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days and until symptoms have resolved
  • Register your positive rapid antigen test (RAT) online at HealthyWA
  • Tell your close contacts
  • Tell your workplace
  • Don’t visit or work in hospitals or other high-risk settings for 7 days.

Learn more about what to do if you test positive for COVID-19. (Healthy WA)

Return to work for COVID-19 cases

If you don’t work in a high-risk setting you can return to work when you have recovered from COVID-19 and your acute symptoms have resolved. It’s recommended that people stay home for a minimum of 5 days, but the infectious period can be 10 days or longer.

Health care workers should contact their employer to confirm infection prevention and control measures in their workplace.

Evidence of a negative test or a clearance certificate is not required and will not be provided by COVID testing clinics.

Workers do not need to be tested for COVID-19 within 35 days after a previous COVID-19 infection including if they have COVID-19 symptoms, are told they are a close contact, or for workplace screening.

Evidence of COVID-19 infection

Employers are encouraged to accept the following as evidence of COVID-19 infection by employees:

  • Photograph of their positive rapid antigen test (RAT). 
  • PCR test result from My Health Record (external site).
  • PCR test result text message. 
  • Text message link to survey that COVID-19 cases receive following a positive PCR test or RAT result that has been registered on HealthyWA. 
Last reviewed: 04-11-2022