Government must extend paid pandemic leave to cover all workers

Unions have won paid pandemic leave for aged care workers, but the ACTU says the Federal Government needs to act now and extend the leave to cover every worker.

The Fair Work Commission’s decision grants paid leave to aged care workers, but excludes those casual workers with irregular hours.

In order to stop the spread of this virus in workplaces, every single worker must have access to paid leave so they can be supported to get tested for the virus and self-isolate if necessary.

As stated by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“The problem of workers having no leave goes beyond the aged care sector.

“We welcome this decision but it still does not remove the trap door for casual workers with irregular hours, or workers in other industries.

“Paid pandemic leave is a crucial public health measure that provides a circuit breaker to stem the rate of transmission by allowing those with symptoms to stay home without losing income.

“Only the Federal Government can step up and deliver paid pandemic leave to protect all workers.

“No worker should be left considering if they should go to work with mild symptoms to pay the bills.

“The Government can fix this and should do so to stop the workplace transmission of the virus.”

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