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Premier must rectify failure to address work from home arrangements during COVID

The Gutwein Government needs to urgently provide a directive to address work from home arrangements as COVID cases continue to escalate.

Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne said the Premier needs to clarify health advice to encourage work from home arrangements where possible, particularly for people who are at higher risk such as those who are immunocompromised.

“Workers, particularly immunocompromised workers, have been advised by the government they should remain in their workplaces and raise any work from home arrangements on an individual basis with their employer,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“There is however an urgent need for more formal advice.

“The government needs to immediately publish and circulate a public statement supporting Tasmanians who need to work from home to do just that.”

Ms O’Byrne said the lack of guidance from Tasmania Health has led to the situation where federal public servants in Tasmania are being treated differently to their interstate colleagues, with staff at Services Australia for example able to implement work from home arrangements in every other state except Western Australia where Omicron is not widespread.

“We saw during the first wave of COVID that working from home offered important protections for workers and the government needs to have learned from that.

“Given the rapidly expanding infection rate in Tasmania, I strongly urge the Premier to reconsider his inaction on this critical matter of public health.

“It would make all the difference to Tasmanians living with illnesses and conditions that leave them immunocompromised during these difficult times.

“This move would also help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and address critical staff shortages in those sectors of the economy currently struggling to meet demand for their services.”

Michelle O’Byrne MP  
Labor Member for Bass