Paragraph 27 of the Consolidated COVID-19 Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace published on 4 June 2020 details the steps an employer must take where a worker presents with symptoms related to COVID-19.
- Do not permit entry to the workplace or allow the worker to report to work.
- Where an employee is asymptomatic and can work from home, the employee must continue to do so.
- Where an employee is asymptomatic and cannot work from home, the employee must apply for sick leave.
- If the worker is already at work.
- Immediately isolate the worker.
- Provide the worker with a surgical mask.
- Arrange transportation for the worker in a manner that doesn't present a transmission risk to other workers or to members of the public. An employer may need to bear this cost.
- Worker to self-isolate or to be referred for medical examination or testing.
- Assess the transmission risk to other workers as well as surfaces.
- Disinfect the area/surfaces which the worker who screened positive was in contact with, including their workstation.
- Undertake contact tracing in the workplace to establish all those whom the worker who screened positive may have been in contact with.
- Refer all workers who were in contact with the worker who screened positive for screening.
- Take any other appropriate measures to prevent transmission.
- Where it’s an employee who has screened positive, place the employee on sick leave or apply for an illness benefit for the employee where their sick leave is exhausted.
- Ensure employees are not subject to discrimination where they screen/test positive for COVID-19.
- Lodge a claim for compensation in terms of COIDA where there is evidence that an employee contracted COVID-19 arising from the course and scope of their employment.
*Worker is defined in the Consolidated Directive as follows: “worker” means any person who works in an employer’s workplace including an employee or contractor, a self-employed person or volunteer.