Will WA employers have to pay for rapid antigen tests?

Industrial relations

There is a National Cabinet plan for essential workers who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases to be allowed to go to work if they have negative rapid antigen test (RAT) results.

This plan has not yet come into effect in WA.

The National Cabinet plan

Under current guidance from the National Cabinet, changes to the rules about when close contacts of COVID-19 cases can go to work will be rolled out across Australia.

The plan is that an essential worker who is a close contact will be able to leave home to go to work if they take a RAT every second day for six days from the date of exposure and return a negative result.

If they have a positive result or develop symptoms, they will be unable to go to work.

The National Cabinet plan does not say whether the employee or the employer will be responsible for the cost of the RAT.

Plumbers are included in the National Cabinet's list of essential workers.

WA Government still to provide direction

These changes have not yet come into effect in WA and the WA Government has not released any rules about RATs for essential workers.

However, given that COVID-19 in the workplace is a health and safety matter, it is likely that employers may be expected to pay.