NSW parliament has passed three emergency bills in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including changes to ensure frontline staff who contract COVID-19 are better protected under workers' compensation laws.
The coalition government on Tuesday introduced the bills amending about 40 Acts to help tackle the pandemic.
The legislation, which passed both houses on Wednesday, includes a payroll tax exemption for JobKeeper payments to stood-down workers and changes to annual and long-service leave laws.
Public health orders will now be able to compel people who have the virus or been exposed to it, to undergo testing or medical examination.
The legislation will also see changes to workers' compensation arrangements due to an amendment passed on Wednesday.
Upper house Greens MP David Shoebridge moved a draft the final amendment for frontline workers who caught COVID-19 to have their infections deemed as occurring in the course of their employment.
"As the law currently stands, workers who contract COVID-19 ... (have) to prove that work was a substantial contributing factor to that disease," Mr Shoebridge told parliament on Wednesday.
"For that worker, the legal challenges in proving that are quite significant.
"How, for example, does the nurse prove that it was contracted at work rather than on a bus journey on the way to work, or when he or she was attending the supermarket to get the groceries?"
Mr Shoebridge said an employer could still prove a COVID-19 infection did not happen in the course of a worker's employment if they had a compelling case.
Those covered by the change will include workers in brick-and-mortar retail, the health care sector, disability and aged care facilities and educational institutions.
Politicians were required to socially distance in the scaled-back parliament, with just 23 MPs allowed in each of the two houses at any one time.
NSW Parliament is next expected to sit in June.
Australian Associated Press