Home >News >Update for HACSU Members on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Update for HACSU Members on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


We’re providing an update to members about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for HACSU members.

We want to acknowledge that this circumstance may cause some members to feel worried and that whilst that is understandable, it’s best to keep your composure at work and in the community.

We are with you and will continue to support and inform members.

We know that HACSU members work with vulnerable people, many of whom have health issues that make them more vulnerable. HACSU State Secretary Paul Healey met earlier this week with officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, and we have been assured that workers in the disability and aged care sectors are a high priority for Government, given the people you support every day at work.

At this time, we recommend that you follow direction from State and Federal Governments around managing your own health. The most recent information from the Victorian State Government suggests the following steps to protect yourself and your family:

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication, ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
  • Don't wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available April).
  • Shaking hands is optional!

For further information, we recommend you review the links at the end of this document.

For HACSU members who are ongoing and fixed term working in public mental health and those working in seconded disability positions (previously DHHS),if you are required to self-isolate because you are sick and/or test as positive, you can access your normal sick leave entitlements and if you need to take time off to care for a member of your immediate family member/household in isolation, you can access your normal carer’s leave entitlements.  Paid Special Leave may be accessible in circumstances where you are required by current health directions to self-isolate and sick/carer’s leave entitlements are not available. Speak with your HACSU delegate for more information about accessing special leave.

For members without access to sick leave, carer’s leave or special leave at your workplace, including casual workers, this is a priority for HACSU officials, and we will continue to lobby for access for all workers to ensure that no one is left out of pocket.

As this is a rapidly changing issue, there will be frequent updates to Governmental response. We will endeavour to provide members with the most up to date information as soon as we know of any changes to advice for workers.

If you have short, or long-term concerns relating to issues at work, your own personal work-related circumstances, please contact HACSU.

We are meeting with State Government officials regularly and will continue to have regular contact to ensure we hold the most up to date information available for members.

We are available business hours on 1300 651 931 or via
Further information:
In unity,