Spotless laundry scheduled to re-open following outbreak

Site is scheduled to re-open 7 August, pending authorisation from Department of Health and Human Services.

A Spotless laundry facility in Victoria is planning to re-open from Friday, 7 August, after being shut and under quarantine following a fourth positive case of coronavirus.

According to Spotless, there have been four confirmed positive cases identified as part of the initial contact tracing conducted on 25 July. A total of 252 have been tested, with 239 negative results and nine pending to date.

The Dandenong laundry facility has been closed since Thursday, 30 July. According to the facilities services company, employees who were scheduled to work on Friday 31 July have received ordinary pay entitlements as if they worked that day.

The site is scheduled to re-open 7 August, pending authorisation from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). According to Spotless, permanent employees who are unable to attend work may access annual leave or long service leave. Spotless said it not eligible for the JobKeeper payment scheme.

“Should an employee have exhausted annual and long service leave entitlements, they can apply to the Downer Hardship Fund for a payment of $750 per week,” a spokesperson said.

“We have advised casual employees of the COVID-related financial support offered by the Victorian State Government and Federal Government.”

Spotless withdrew its Fair Work application against staff at its Dandenong laundry facility last week after they refused to work due to fears of a coronavirus outbreak at the site.

It is understood around half of the staff working at the Dandenong laundry facility in Victoria did not show up for work on Wednesday due to safety concerns after two employees tested positive to COVID-19.

According to United Workers Union, workers refused to go to work until the outbreak had been thoroughly investigated. In response, Ensign Services filed an application with the Fair Work Commission compelling staff to return to work.

The hearing on Wednesday 29 July, was adjourned until Thursday, 30 July, morning; however, the facility services company subsequently withdrew its application.

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