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Coronavirus Pandemic

Tasmanian workers need adequate support if impacted by COVID

girl in a wheelchair being cared for by a carer in a specially adapted bathroom

Tasmanian workers in key front facing roles such as aged and disability care, security and hospitality have been abandoned by the government under the new definition of close contact.

Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Sarah Lovell said staff in high risk workplaces have been overlooked in changes to the definition of close contact which only increases risks to workers as existing supports were already inadequate.

“High risk workplaces have been completely overlooked by the Premier, putting staff and customers, residents and patients at increased risk,” Ms Lovell said.

“This only increases the risk of COVID with existing support for those needing to isolate while awaiting COVID test results, especially for those in casual and other insecure work arrangements currently inadequate.

“We now have 520 active cases in the state and we know this number will get higher. It is vital the government put arrangements in place now so people can focus on their health and not where they will find money to pay for a roof over their head.

“There is already heightened stress among the workforce due to these issues and they must be sorted quickly.”

Ms Lovell said limiting access to Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) further risks the health of those in high risk workplaces and the broader community.

“In response to the suggestion that not everyone can afford RATs, the Prime Minister himself has stated that “some people can, some people can’t”.

“This is exactly why the government need to secure adequate RATs to ensure they can be made freely and widely available for those that need them.

“Support such as this is essential as we move to the next stage of the pandemic. The government had months to prepare, they said we were ready, it’s now time to show that they are.”

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