It is vital that workers who are unwell do not come into contact with other workers or other people at work.

Unwell workers should stay home

The Ministry of Health advises that if anyone is unwell with respiratory symptoms, they should first call their GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453, who will assess whether they should be tested for COVID-19.

Details on symptoms of COVID-19 can be found on the Ministry of Health website(external link)

If a worker has COVID-like symptoms, or has been in contact with a confirmed case, they should stay at home and not return to work until they have either recovered or have been tested and cleared from have COVID-19 and are no longer symptomatic.

Workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are able to return to work, without risk to others, when they’ve been cleared from isolation. The criteria for being released from isolation depends on the circumstances, such as whether the person’s been hospitalised. In all cases a health professional or health team assesses whether someone can be released from isolation, and so return to work safely.

You should also have a plan to make sure workers only return if they have fully recovered or they have been tested and cleared of COVID-19.

Workers may come to work when unwell despite being told they should stay home for a number of reasons (eg, financial pressures). It is important to have open communication with workers to understand why they want to be at work. You could consider setting up flexible leave arrangements to make sure workers feel able to stay at home until they have recovered or been medically cleared of COVID-19.

Check in regularly with workers to make sure they are well 

 You should check in regularly with workers to ensure they’re well. You could supplement this by setting up a symptom that provides a self-check for workers and other people to do before they enter the workplace. Your system needs to ensure that other people who don’t routinely work there are also screened.

How frequently you check will depend on the nature of your work, and with what you and your worker representatives decide will be most effective. We recommended self-checks be done daily where possible. Depending, you may also choose to do more extensive checking, such as temperature checks as well.

Whatever methods you choose to check worker health, you must consult with your workers and their representatives as part of making that decision. Privacy requirements will also apply to your records(external link).

Links for more information:

Operating safely at Alert Level Two 

Ministry of Health - workplace infectious disease prevention (external link)