Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union


Union: Employers have obligations to their workers during COVID-19 restrictions

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union NSW & ACT (AMWU) has today written to all businesses that employ our members, outlining the union’s view of their obligations to workers during this latest COVID-19 outbreak.  

The AMWU has been working hard to make sure our members know their rights in the workplace. We are making sure they understand the current COVID-19 restrictions and know how to access any financial assistance available to them. We are now calling on all businesses to do their part.  

Employers must inform staff of the financial assistance available to them if they are stood down or have their hours reduced. No employee should be forced to take annual leave during this time.    

In the workplace, employers must ensure that social distancing is maintained where possible and provide workers with safe and appropriate personal protective equipment, such as face masks.  

If a worker is required to be tested for COVID-19 before coming to work, that test should be done on work time, when possible.  

And if businesses are accessing COVID-19 support from the NSW government, they have an obligation to ensure their headcount is maintained at the level it was as of July 13, 2021.  

Quotes attributable to Cory Wright – AMWU State Secretary – NSW & ACT 

“Unfortunately, some employers are trying it on during this lockdown. We've been informed of employers acting outside the Public Health Orders, failing to ensure safe workplaces, forcing workers to take accrued leave, and failing to inform employees of the government assistance available to them.”

“We need to make sure employers aren’t using these restrictions to take advantage of workers.”  

“Given COVID-19's transmissibility, it’s vital that employers ensure workers have face masks and other protective equipment that fit correctly. Incorrectly fitted PPE is a hazard.”  

“Workers should view the union as a resource during this time. We’re working hard to break down every new restriction that’s introduced so our members know exactly what their rights are.”   

“Employers have obligations under WHS legislation to maintain safe workplaces. No one should feel that their health is at risk when they come into work.”  


Media contact – Sophia Morris – 0400 889 166 or [email protected] 

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