Backpay win for COVID testing

Published: 17 June 2022

Harbour Quays Aged Care members celebrated a backpay win in May after management agreed to pay them for time spent taking pre-shift rapid antigen tests (RATs). 

The backpay claim arose after the Gold Coast facility introduced a new RAT policy at the start of the year in which staff were required to complete a RAT before every shift, attending work early to take the test onsite in “the car park/lower basement”.

The policy was eventually changed on 23 March but, given RAT tests generally take about 15 minutes to complete, members had by that stage accumulated hours of unpaid time.

The QNMU argued that nurses who followed the RAT directive and attended work early were entitled to be paid for their additional time at the applicable rate (including shift penalties or overtime).

Following negotiations with the QNMU, management have now agreed to backpay employees who attended work early between 5 January and 23 March, at a rate of 15 minutes per shift.

This is a great result! 

If you are having a similar issue at your workplace, make sure you contact QNMU Member Connect for advice.