Which jobs are now considered essential under the new National Ministerial Agreement?

The national cabinet has agreed to include more workers exempt from COVID isolation to help ease pressure on the workforce and supply chains.

This means that thousands more people will now be allowed to return to work if they are in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19.

Wondering if that includes you? See the full list of services and jobs offered by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

Health, well-being, care and support

  • Health care, including paramedics
  • Dental care
  • Therapy (eg, physiotherapy, restorative massage, oriental medicine, mental health support)
  • Clinics/laboratories
  • Blood/plasma donation
  • Medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare supplies (including PPE)
  • Housing assistance/homelessness
  • Social services
  • Drug and alcohol services
  • Support for disabled/vulnerable people
  • Residential Elderly Care
  • Veterinarian, animal welfare and accommodation
  • End of life services (including crematorium, cemetery, mortuary services)

Food, beverages and other essential goods

  • farming and agriculture
  • Food, drink, essential groceries
  • Pet/Animal Supplies
  • Essential office supplies, newspapers, magazines
  • Building and landscaping supplies
  • Hospitality (for take out or food delivery)

Transport, freight and logistics

  • Road, rail, air and maritime transport services
  • Transport operations
  • Delivery services
  • Distribution centers
  • Port operations (including airports) and import/export
  • Delivery services
  • Post office
  • Passenger transport
  • Taxis and carpooling
  • Moving Services
  • Vehicle repairs and maintenance, including disinfection, roadside assistance and towing
  • Vehicle rental

Energy, resource and water and waste management

  • Energy supply (electricity, liquid fuels, gas)
  • Water supply, sewerage, sewerage and drainage
  • Provision of resources, including mining workers and FIFO
  • Waste recovery (including collection, treatment, storage and disposal services)

Telecommunications, data, broadcasting and media

  • Telecommunications services
  • Journalism and media services for the provision of news or information to the public
  • Diffusion

Financial and insurance services

  • Retirement Services
  • Insurance services
  • Other financial services

Education and childcare

  • Education and schooling services
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Adult education and higher

Building and construction

  • Urgent repairs or maintenance
  • Completion of the building or construction in progress, insofar as guaranteeing the safety and stability of the construction sites
  • Building and construction works to enable or support essential functions (e.g. health and quarantine facilities)

Emergency Services, Security, Law Enforcement, Justice and Corrections

  • Police, fire and rescue, ambulance and other emergency, security and crisis response
  • Defense and national security
  • Operation of courts/tribunals, correctional centers
  • Legal services

Essential Research

  • Research essential to Australian public health, society and economy
  • Continuation of searches that cannot be stopped and restarted
  • Research involving clinical trials and animal facilities

Critical government functions, federal, state or local government and public works

  • Administration of social benefits, workers’ compensation, child support, health insurance
  • Conduct of elections
  • Functions/requirements of the Australian Parliament
  • Consular and diplomatic services
  • Operation, inspection, maintenance of public assets, land and infrastructure (e.g. roads)
  • Regulatory activities

Housing and real estate

  • Private inspections to facilitate new leases, end of lease or property sale
  • Conducting online auctions and processing sales and rental contracts.
  • Accommodation for existing customers, essential workers, for wellness or quarantine purposes

Jobs that support the above categories

  • Sourcing, production, manufacturing, processing, packaging, distribution of materials and products
  • Administrative, regulatory, operational, logistics, communication, occupational health and safety, industrial relations, customer support
  • IT support, cybersecurity, engineers, technicians, legal support, research
  • Cleaners, installation, construction, maintenance and repair (including plumbing, electricians, pest control, locksmiths, technicians)
  • Provision of accommodation and food to people performing essential functions


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