As we start to rely more on RATs and receive a greater supply of these tests in Australia, employers may want to implement RATs as a control measure to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 in your workplace.

It is important to know your rights regarding getting tested and staying safe from Covid-19 at work. The following information is general and not tailored to your specific industry however, if you want more specific information you can get in touch for free and confidential advice.

What are my rights when getting tested at work?

If your employer chooses to implement RATs in your workplace and you are required to take a test, you must be paid for the time it takes you to get tested and wait for the results.

If your employer requires you to take a RAT, they must provide the RAT for you - just as they must provide you with masks if you are required to wear them.

RATs can take up to 20 minutes to deliver a result. When you or your co-workers are waiting for the results of a RAT, it is important that your employer minimises any interactions (e.g. by enforcing isolation in separate spaces or social distancing).

If anyone in your workplace tests non-negative, including unclear results, then they should leave the workplace immediately and not return until they have tested negative.

What if I don't think my employer is doing what they should to keep us safe?

It is important to remember that you can say 'No' to unsafe work, even while we're in a pandemic. If you think that your employer is not doing what they should to keep you safe from Covid-19 you can speak up, ask them to rectify the situation, and refuse to do unsafe work.

Need more help?

You can email us at if you have any more specific questions about your entitlements. We provide free and confidential advice for anyone under the age of 25. We can also provide referrals to relevant bodies if you need further help.

To find out more about how to join your union, visit or have a look at our fact sheet here.

Did this answer your question?