COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is becoming more widespread in Australia with each passing day. Because of our close contact with clients and busy schedules, workers in the hair and beauty industry have an increased risk of being infected if we don’t take the right precautions.

We’re keeping a close eye on COVID-19 at HSA, and we’re here to give you all the facts and advice you need to keep you — and your clients — safe at work, and secure your rights and entitlements.

How do I protect myself from getting sick?

  • If a client comes in and is visibly sick, you have the right to refuse service. If your employer is forcing you to work on sick customers, call HSA straight away for more advice on your WHS rights.
  • Keep a clean workstation. Sterilise your tools as often as you can, and clean down all surfaces with antibacterial wipes or spray after every client.
  • Keep your hands clean, wash or sanitise frequently, and avoid touching your face. Don’t share food, coffee cups, water bottles, spoons, or forks with any friends or colleagues at work.
  • You can wear a mask and/or plastic gloves if you have a reasonable concern that you may become sick. Under the Work Health and Safety Act, your employer has a duty of care to provide a safe, healthy workplace within reason. You’re allowed to protect yourself, especially as clients usually can’t wear masks in the salon. If your employer is not letting you wear a mask, reach out to HSA  for advice and support.

What if I get sick, or need to be isolated?

  • If your sickness can be traced back to your work, then you’ll be able to claim workers compensation for lost work. For more advice on this, or for support on a claim, call us on 1300 989 971.
  • If you are a casual worker who has fallen ill or you’re required to be isolated, you’re allowed to access the sickness allowance with no wait time, which is up to $560 per fortnight for a single worker with no children. If you need help with the sickness allowance, reach out to us on 1300 989 971 for help.
  • If you are a full-time worker and you’re sick or in isolation, you can access your paid personal and sick leave. You can also use this leave to care for someone in your home who is unwell. Once you’ve used up all your paid leave, you can have unpaid personal leave, for up to 3 months within a 12-month period.

The coronavirus situation is expected to get worse before it gets better, and HSA will do our best to keep you up to date with any changes that may affect workers in hair and beauty.

If you have any questions about coronavirus, or issues at work surrounding it, reach out to us for advice and support and we’ll do our best to help.