Workplace insurers are making arrangements to make sure they are ready to receive a large number of compensation claims should employees contract coronavirus while on the job.
Insurers have said employees would remain eligible for workplace compensation, in the event they contract coronavirus from another customer or employee while working.
While insurers say circumstances would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, illnesses covered as part of workplace compensation schemes would largely cover an employee who gets COVID-19.
Despite a large number of businesses closing their doors or forcing employees to work from home as a result of social distancing measures to prevent the virus spreading, some workers in businesses that remain open have expressed concern they're coming into contact with hundreds of people every day.
WorkSafe ACT said while it had not received any claims related to coronavirus, measures were being undertaken to prepare for such a scenario.
"Social distancing and other public health requirements implemented in response to coronavirus do apply to workers' compensation insurers, and this has resulted in some changes to insurers' claim management practices," an ACT government spokeswoman said.
"Workers compensation laws are designed to cover people who become ill if their employment contributed to the illness.
"The range of illnesses that can be covered is very broad and includes coronavirus."
Under workplace compensation arrangements in the ACT, public servants would be compensated for 100 per cent of their earnings for the first 45 weeks they are unable to work.
From then onward, the amount of compensation varies depending on the capacity of that employee to carry out work, but would not be less than 75 per cent of their weekly earnings pre-injury.
For those in the private sector, they would be entitled to 100 per cent of lost earnings for 26 weeks, under the ACT government scheme.
They would then receive no less than 65 per cent of earnings from that point.
Insurer CGU, which is part of insurance group IAG, which also represents insurance company NRMA, said compensation would be provided if coronavirus was contracted at work.
"If a worker contacts COVID-10 and becomes unwell as a result of performing their duties in their workplace, they may be able to access workers compensation benefits with CGU, subject to any terms and conditions of their policy," a spokeswoman for the company said.
"Any CGU workers compensation claims lodged will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis."
Workers are being encouraged to work from home if they are able to do so.
The Public Service Commissioner has ordered bureaucrats to work from home, but some departments have been told they must continue to work in the office.
Workers in essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies remain on the job with Coles and Woolworths hiring thousands of additional staff in a matter of days to deal with unprecedented demand for groceries and supplies.
Insurers Suncorp and Allianz were contacted for comment.
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