Cold Flu and COVID-19 Policy

Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Policy


The department and its portfolio agencies have released a policy that outlines new Cold, Flu and COVID-19 obligations for Public Service staff.

Public Service

If an employee has a cold, influenza (flu), COVID-19 symptoms (including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever or chills), or is likely to be infectious (for example, if they are asymptomatic but return a positive COVID-19 test result), they should not attend the workplace.

If an employee is unwell, they should take sick leave. If an employee has no symptoms, but are likely to be infectious, they may be able to work from home rather than take sick leave, but they should discuss this with their manager.

Employees with cold, flu, COVID-19 symptoms should isolate and get tested for COVID-19. A person with COVID-19 should isolate for at least 5 days and until symptoms resolve. Those who do not have COVID-19 but have symptoms should also isolate until their symptoms resolve. Employees should avoid attending the workplace while they have symptoms. 

To limit the risk of cold, flu and COVID-19 spreading in the workplace, some work areas may encourage a longer absence from the workplace, including in circumstances when an employee has very mild or no symptoms, but is able to work temporarily from home.



  • Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Policy (WORD) - last updated 3 November 2022


  • Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Policy FAQs (WORD) - last updated 3 November 2022

Further note:

The policy does not apply to Teaching Service staff, who should follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Victorian Government schools.

The also does not apply to employees whose workplace is a sensitive setting as described in public health advice. If attending one of these sites, VPS staff should follow the site's COVIDSafe Plan, including:

  • residential care facilities, including aged care, residential disability and other services (note: this does not include special schools)
  • other care facilities (including education services in youth justice facilities)
  • healthcare premises, including when health care services are provided in people's homes (including education services in hospitals).