This information is for ASU members and delegates regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our priority is keeping you safe, and paid. Book an online meeting with your Organiser here. We will arrange a zoom meeting to speak with you and your colleagues.

We are by your side. Call the ASU on 02 9310 4000  or email [email protected] for advice and support.

Employers have a duty under Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws to eliminate, or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Employers also have obligations in their funding and service contracts to have continuity of service plans in place so that critical services to vulnerable people can continue during a COVID outbreak.

The Australian Services Union has produced this guide to help members stay safe at work.

Download A Guide to COVID Workplace Risk Assessments in Community and Disability Services here.

This summarises how to conduct a risk assessment as well as providing detail around COVID-19 specific hierarchy of controls.


NSW Health, NDIS and DCJ answer your questions: Omicron Briefing

Representatives from NSW Health, the NDIS Commission and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice attended a special forum to answer questions on:

  • PPE
  • Rapid Antigen Tests
  • COVID Safe Work Practices
  • Suporting someone who is COVID positive
  • Other supports from funding bodies and NSW Health for your service at this time

The forum was hosted by Angus McFarland, Assistant Secretary of the ASU.




Tips for Talking about Vaccination in Community and Disability Workplaces, a series of communication principles that can be used to effectively improve vaccine engagement of workers.





Save money when shopping online. ASU members get discounts on groceries at major retailers. Find a gift card to use today here.


ASU members are vaccine champions

Read why ASU members are choosing to get vaccinated.


Heath and Safety at work

COVID-19 is a health and safety risk for employees. Employers have obligations to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees and others.

We have developed this COVID Workplace Checklist for ASU members.

Delegates can also use the Coronavirus Workplace Checklist to ensure the safety of their workplace.


Omnicron briefing

We answer some frequently asked questions including:

  1. I think I’ve been exposed to COVID at work – am I a close or casual contact? How long am I meant to isolate for?
  2. I am a close contact and must isolate for 7 days, when can I return to the workplace?
  3. I am COVID positive, when can I return to work?
  4. I was exposed to COVID at work – can I apply for workers' compensation?
  5. I am worried about getting COVID. I want to be able to work from home, what are my rights?
  6. Can I be forced to work with someone who is COVID positive?
  7. Can I be forced to return to work while I am covid positive or isolating?

Download our latest fact sheet on Omicron Safe Workplaces here.


Leave Entitlements

Full and part-time employees who can’t come to work because they are diagnosed with COVID-19 can take paid personal/carer’s leave.

Casual employees and independent contractors do not receive pay when they are not at work including when they are sick.

Employers should therefore consider specific measures to support casual employees and other insecure employees who are impacted by COVID-19 including the provision of paid “special leave”.

Sign the petition to call on the government to ensure paid special leave for all workers.


ASU Jobs Connect

Jobs Connect is a free service for members to find work where there is now high demand.

We are working with employers across the country to help members get work at places where there is now high demand for more workers and where there are positions available.

These jobs are predominantly in community and disability services.

If you would like to access this free service, please complete the online form.

While we can’t guarantee that we will be able to find everyone a job or additional work, we are committed to supporting our members during this time.


ASU in the media

Acting Secretary Angus McFarland spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald and Business Insider about the crisis in the disability sector.


Letters to the government

We have written to the NSW and Federal Government about the shocking findings from our Frontline NDIS Survey conducted in January 2022. You can read the results and the letters to Minister Reynolds and Premier Perrottet here.


Useful links

BOOK A VACCINE OR BOOSTER
Australian Government Vaccine Booking Service – to make a booking for a booster near you
https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/

NSW Health Vaccine Clinics – note most of these do “walk-ins”, which means you do not need a booking, just show up!
https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination/get-vaccinated/nsw-health-vaccination-clinics

GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments
https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment-new-south-wales

NSW Test and Isolate Payments
https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-test-and-isolate-support-payment

NSW HEALTH ADVICE
COVID-19 Exposure Risk Determination in Aged Care and Disability Care Settings
Download a copy here

What to do if you get Covid?
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/confirmed-cases.pdf

What to do if you need to isolate?
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/self-isolation-covid-and-close.pdf

TAKE ACTION
Sign the petition for paid isolation leave for all workers (including casuals)
https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/paid-isolation-leave-for-all-workers

Sign the petition for Free Rapid Antigent Tests
https://www.asumembers.org.au/free_rats_now

Join Your Union
www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
https://www.australianunions.org.au/join/


Get advice and support

We are by your side. Call the ASU on 02 9310 4000  or email [email protected] for advice and support.


From Multicultural NSW - Managing COVID-19 safely at home

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Other important support and information

  • NSW Health has partnered with Sonder to provide a personal wellbeing service with 24/7 multilingual chat and phone access to a range of mental health, medical and wellbeing support services
  • Free translation and interpreter 24-hour helpline TIS National 131 450
  • NSW Health Isolation Support Line on 1800 943 553
  • NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933
  • National COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline 1800 020 080
  • Service NSW 13 77 88

"I'm an ASU member because they've always got my back."
ASU member
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Open letter to the Federal Homelessness Minister

The Australian Services Union has co-signed a letter to Federal Homelessness Minister Julie Collins with homelessness organisations across Australia. 23/02/2024

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International Women's Day 2024

Join us in powering equality and accelerating inclusion in this year’s International Women’s Day march 21/02/2024

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ASU World Social Justice Day Statement

Peace is union business. 20/02/2024