Cedar Meats workers who have contracted COVID-19

Q: I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and I was working at Cedar Meats before the shut-down – can I lodge a WorkCover claim?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are part of the cluster of people who were working at Cedar Meats, you are entitled to lodge a claim for WorkCover, whether your employer was Cedar Meats, Labour Solutions or Sprinter Foods.

A worker is entitled to WorkCover compensation if they suffer a disease due to the nature of their employment. Ordinarily the worker would need to prove that work was a significant contributing factor in catching the disease.

We understand that the identified cluster COVID-19 at Cedar Meats does give rise to a significantly greater risk of catching the disease.

Q: What would this mean?

With WorkCover you would be entitled to weekly payments while you have to be isolated because of the infection and ongoing if you are unfit for work. WorkCover also pays all reasonable medical costs related to COVID-19.

Weekly payments would be 95% of your average pay, before you got COVID-19, for up to 13 weeks. If you are still unfit for work after 13 weeks the pay would go down to 80% of your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Payments.

Q: How do I make a claim?

You need to fill in a Victorian WorkCover Authority Worker's Injury Claim Form which can be got from a Post Office or from the WorkSafe website.

You also need a Certificate of Capacity (for TAC or WorkSafe) for the first two weeks that you must be in isolation, with or without symptoms. After the first two weeks you need ongoing certificates if you have not been cleared to return to work on full time and duties.

These forms (claim form and certificate of capacity) need to be lodged with your employer or WorkSafe. This can be in the form of email attachments, where it is not possible or is impractical to provide the original document.

WorkSafe has instructed that where a document is served by email, it should not also be sent by ordinary mail, courier or hand delivery.

Q: How do I find out more?

You can contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 from 7.30AM to 6.30PM Monday to Friday.

The Meat Workers Union (AMIEU) is a source of information about WorkCover on the union website.