MUA Notice to Maritime Workers regarding COVID19

Published: 23 Mar 2020

During this current COVID-19 health crisis we have brought together the following information for members.
What is Coronavirus
Workplace Health and Safety Obligations
The Maritime Union of Australia has made the following demands on governments and employers during this global health crisis.
Every effort must be made by Government, employers and workers to upgrade personal hygiene and minimise person to person contact, workers should co-operate in all necessary measures to achieve these objectives.

  • Workers must be entitled to unlimited paid leave for all Covid-19 related personal leave to isolate and care for themselves, children or relatives and for events such as school closures and other related events. 
  • Resources must be made immediately available to allow for the mandatory pre-entry inspection of vessels and vital health and welfare checks for international crew, entering Australian Ports
  • Must fully resource medical facilities such as hospitals and specialised clinics and use all available means to combat the spread of the virus and provide care for those affected.
  • Free testing must be made available to everyone, at all times during this crisis.


  1. Ensure that no worker is financially disadvantaged by providing paid leave to cover the period prior to a COVID19 test result. 
  2. In the event of a positive test result for COVID19, workers must have unlimited paid special leave made available to them and not be required to use accrued personal to isolate and care for themselves, children or relatives and for events such as school closures and other related events. 
  3. All employers must adequately notify workers of what and how they are dealing with COVID19 related issues in the workplace including:
    • notices about proper hand washing and hygiene measures at toolbox talks.
    • Conduct regular toolbox meetings to provide up-to-date information to workers
  4. Convene immediate WHS committee meetings and engage in full and proper consultation with workers and their elected HSR’s including risk assessments to ensure the measures being implemented to address all Coronavirus health and safety risks are adequate and communicated to all workers
  5. Keep the MUA informed of all measure being taken to address Coronavirus health and safety risks.
  6. Provide information about symptoms and how to best avoid transmitting the virus.
  7. Provide hand sanitiser in all amenities, vehicles and equipment and on any vessel. Provide suitable PPE where workers are in proximity with each other and ships crews
  8. Implement additional cleaning/decontamination measures on-site.
  9. Review separation arrangements for meal breaks and work groups to achieve maximum personal space where required.
  10. No site will be partially or fully closed without direction and/or advice by Chief Medical Officer or their Representative.

The MUA will continue to review its position daily to consider any legal directions by health authorities charged with oversight of the COVID19 pandemic.
If you have further questions, contact your health and safety representative at your worksite.
More information can be found here:
ACTU Coronavirus Website 
Australian Border Force Commercial Vessel Advice 
Department of Health Notice Maritime Industry
International Chamber of Shipping Guidance for Ship Operators 
ETF Letter to Commission of Transport European Commission
UNITY BANK Information for financial assistance for members
MARITIME SUPER Information regarding early access to Superannuation
Job Seeker Payment and Coronavirus Supplement


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney