Federal Government must intervene to protect workers’ sick leave in a pandemic

The High Court has handed down a decision that means Australian shift workers will be entitled to less than 10 days sick leave each year.

The Federal Government must move to amend the Fair Work Act to protect workers’ sick leave and stop big companies undermining workers’ hard-won sick leave entitlements during a pandemic.

The Federal Government has backed big business Mondelez each step of the way on this court case.

Instead of backing in big multinationals, the Federal Government should be legislating to make sure every worker has ten days sick leave protected, and ensuring all workers have access to federally funded, fully paid pandemic leave.

As stated by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“This is a very disappointing outcome. We send our solidarity to AMWU members Brendan and Natasha, and all the union members who fought for so hard and so long during this case.

“We already have a massive gap in our defences against COVID-19 because all workers do not have access to paid pandemic leave.

“Now, the Federal Government is allowing even more gaps to open up by not stepping in to protect workers’ sick leave entitlements.

“The Federal Government must amend the Fair Work Act so that every worker has access to 10 days of paid personal leave every year, no matter what hours they work, and must also legislate paid pandemic leave for all workers.”

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.