- 89,000 Confirmed cases globally – 33 in Australia
- 3,000 deaths
- 30,000 recovered
- Travel and isolation restrictions in place for China and Iran (subject to change)
- Significant economic impact in Australia and elsewhere
- There is a clear WHS risk and consequential duty on employers to manage this risk
- Workers should be granted ‘special leave’ in relation to COVID-19 given the significant public health risk and likely duration of the illness and requirement to self-isolate
- Casual workers most at risk of experiencing hardship in the event of an outbreak in Australia due to lack of available paid leave.
- Some casuals (such as in higher education and aviation) are already experiencing financial hardship
- Federal Government should take the necessary steps to ensure all workers, in particular insecure workers, are being provided the necessary financial support in the event of an outbreak.