Reduce absenteeism with a simple ‘return to work’ strategy

Despite widely varying opinions about the status of SARS-Cov-2 and the reticence around public health care, Australian businesses (and the economy) continue to be battered by Covid-induced absenteeism and disruption. Sick leave from fever and coughs is already five times last year’s levels, with the latest Flu Tracking data showing 2.25 per cent of people off work from sickness, compared with the five-year average of 1.5 per cent.


Conversely, as COVID restrictions and mandates have been removed, the responsibility of community public health has shifted unceremoniously to the general public and to business owners to care for their workers.

According to Fair Work and Safe Work Australia, employers have a duty under the model Work Health and Safety laws to eliminate or minimise the risks of COVID-19 at work so far as is reasonably practicable.

With isolation mandates in flux, businesses may be unsure about how to adequately protect their staff and meet WHS duties, but there is a simple solution that can be implemented and managed cost effectively – employers should be asking staff to test negative on a rapid antigen test before they return to work.

Over the past two years, Southport-based MedTech company, Gardian has developed and implemented a robust Covid testing protocol across hundreds of companies including high-risk environments, effectively eliminating the ingress of infection in the workplace.

The complete ‘Return to Work’ COVID solution is comprised of the one-step Gardian T3 saliva-based rapid antigen test in conjunction with an easily downloadable mobile app and Test Tracker control panel, effectively providing real time verification, recording and reporting of each test that ensures they have been done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for use and is traceable due to a unique QR code. Management has peace of mind that the employee is well, that they are eliminating the ingress of COVID-19 at the workplace, and that they are protecting the workforce and greater community in a collaborative and compliant way.

While WHS mitigation requirements may initially appear ambiguous, the penalty for non-compliance and potential of workers' compensation claims is clear. According to a report by international law firm Allens, an employer may be found liable for a COVID-19-related death or injury where it can be established that the employee contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment.

Speaking of the report, Graham Gordon, CEO of Gardian said: “Businesses have got to make sure that they implement a fit for purpose response to the ongoing COVID disruption. Employers should want employees to stay home when they have COVID-19, and they should incentivise workers to do everything they can to reduce the spread, including following the recommended isolation period and ensuring they have achieved a negative test result before they return to the workplace.

For more information visit


Gold Member Advertorial

Our valued corporate members

Our corporate members are highly valued for their contribution to the Southport Chamber.

Gold Coast Business Hub Count Gold Coast

Our valued gold members

These members are highly valued for their contribution to the Southport Chamber.

Feddersen Consulting Group Enterprise & Training Company White Lady Funerals Experience Gold Coast State Member for Southport