The McGowan Government will partner with the Commonwealth Government to deliver the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to Western Australians in the event Western Australia experiences an outbreak of COVID-19.
This payment arrangement provides support to workers living in WA who can’t earn an income because they must self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone who has COVID-19, and do not have access to income such as paid leave or other Commonwealth Government payments.
Western Australians who are eligible will receive a lump sum of $1,500 for every 14 days they cannot work.
The payment can be received multiple times and if health officials instruct them to quarantine for a period longer than 14 days.
The solution, which was agreed to by the McGowan Government, can be accessed to avoid challenges, as experienced in jurisdictions like Victoria, where people continued to work and not isolate or quarantine as they should have been.
The Commonwealth will cover all payments for eligible Australian citizens and permanent residents that live in WA. The cost of providing the payment to eligible temporary visa holders in the State will be met by the McGowan Government. All payments will be administered through Services Australia.
Other jurisdictions that have a similar arrangement with the Commonwealth include Victoria and Tasmania and some border communities on the east coast.
Earlier on in the pandemic, the McGowan Government introduced COVID-19 leave for public sector workers which provides up to 20 days paid leave.
The McGowan Government also supported a COVID-19 General Order issued by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which grants all State system private sector employees, including casual staff, up to two weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave to cover periods they are required to self-isolate by government or medical authorities.
These initiatives were introduced to further give Western Australian workers peace-of-mind knowing there were leave arrangements available to them should they be impacted by COVID-19.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Fortunately for us Western Australia has no community transmission of COVID-19, however it is all the more reason for us to not to be complacent if we want to continue to live in this COVID-safe way and enjoy the social and recreational benefits it has afforded us.
“If we want to continue to operate in a well-performing, fully functioning economy, which has opened to a far greater degree than anywhere else in Australia, then we need to continue to heed health advice and ensure we have safe work environments that help reduce any spread of the virus.
“We moved swiftly to introduce COVID-19 leave arrangements for Western Australian workers and now we’ve partnered with the Commonwealth Government on its Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – all to better protect Western Australians from this deadly virus that could creep into our State and wreak havoc any day.
“If we’ve learned anything from our counterparts on the east coast, it is complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the State and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given.
“The message is clear. Should you become sick with COVID-19 or have to care for someone with COVID-19 then should absolutely not be working or considering returning to work until you have the all clear.
“People in these circumstances who do not have support arrangements and are eligible will be supported by this Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
“I hope that Western Australians don’t have to take-up this payment arrangement however knowing it is available should we need it ensures we are prepared for the worst and as a government we’re doing everything we can to preserve the State’s economy, jobs and the health of Western Australians.”