QLD COVID-19 update: Changes to the classification of some of the disability sector workforce as Critically Essential Workers
What you need to know
- A new classification of Critically Essential Workers has been established for some in the disability sector
- This will impact close contact quarantine requirements, workforce, risk assessment, and management for the sector
NDS would like to make providers aware of changes to the classification of some of the disability sector workforce as 'Critically Essential Workers'.Queensland Government website. Please read the information supplied by Queensland Health below to determine if this update applies to your workforce or individuals.This will impact close contact quarantine requirements and, therefore, workforce, and on risk assessment and management for the sector. Use of Critically Essential Workers requires that employers complete a documented process, which can be found on the
Workers in scope
Health is a critical industry and this includes the disability and aged care sectors. Workforce identified as healthcare under the Workers in a Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction No.2 are considered in scope if their role requires a person with particular skills that:
- must be performed in person at the workplace
- must be performed to prevent an immediate risk or death or serious injury to a person OR prevent serious harm (social, economic or physical) in the community
Conditions relating to the use of Critically Essential Workers:
Employers are required to complete a self-assessment and submit this documentation. See detailed information on these processes as well as answers to common questions. Critically essential workers can only leave quarantine to complete work if they:
- have no COVID-19 symptoms and
- are fully vaccinated – this includes two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine PLUS a booster shot where eligible
- use a mask when indoors. Also wear a mask outdoors if you cannot physically distance from other people.
- travel to and from the workplace by private transport, by the most direct route practicable and without stopping (except for refuelling and that should be contactless if possible)
- monitor symptoms
- wash hands regularly
- get tested on day six of their quarantine period (and at any point of quarantine if they develop COVID-19 symptoms)
- practice physical distancing from other people until the end of their quarantine period
- comply with any industry or employer requirements for workers in a critically essential role
The Commonwealth has developed Interim Guidance on managing workforce in regards to COVID-19 in aged care that the Deputy CHO, Dr James Smith has assessed as relevant guidance for disability providers.
Please note: A staff member wearing appropriate PPE at the time of exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, is not considered a close contact.
QDN has worked with Queensland Health to develop easy read vaccination resources for your use.