Spotless Laundry take staff to Fair Work Commission for choosing to self-isolate

Melbourne laundry company Spotless have taken their staff to the Fair Work Commission after they refused to come to work following a coronavirus outbreak. 

After a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19 at their Dandenong workplace, Spotless reportedly expected staff to return to business as normal just two days later. In the interest of the public, their families, and their individual health, the staff obviously chose to not return on request, sparking the company’s response.

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Photo: Spotless

A Melbourne laundry company has taken staff to the Fair Work Commission after they refused to come to work, fearing a coronavirus outbreak had not been handled properly.

Spotless closed their workplace for a deep clean after an employee tested positive to coronavirus last week. However, workers were still expected to return the next day. When 35 of the staff didn’t turn up for work, Spotless saw it as a means to take them to the Fair Work Commission for a little extra persuasion.

The company publically stated that none of the employees were as identified as being in close contact with the infected staff member, while 18 employees were identified as having casual contact. A second worker tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

The United Workers Union, representing the Spotless staff, have called for all workers to be stood down with pay until their coronavirus results returned, with 15 results returning negative and two awaiting results so far.

Executive director Godfrey Moase told the ABC, “There are also concerns among staff about COVID linen.”

He continued, “This is a laundry that supplies hospitals linen, including linen used by coronavirus patients. Staff believe that linen is being mixed with other linen, creating risks to workers handling it.”

On Wednesday night, a mediation meeting was held between both parties. No resolution was met.