Union Update 2021 #5: Union Win!

Tuesday 02 Feb 2021

Union Win!

We are pleased to report that strong HSUWA advocacy for normal pay to universally apply to public sector workers this week, has been accepted by the government.

This position was advocated with other public sector unions and Unions WA once the lockdown was announced.

This means that all the myriad of arrangements under Circular 6 and 7 for accessing leave and COVID Leave (for isolating and testing for example) will not apply this week. This is retrospective and included Monday 1 February 2021. Please read below

This is a positive outcome for members, providing the certainty we were calling for.

Health workers have earned the trust of government in their professional response to the pandemic from day 1.

We continue to call on employers to follow the public health advice and allow health workers who can work from home, to do so – and support managers in encouraging this without further delay.

Please see attached the latest PSLR Circular #2/2021 - Short-term workforce arrangements for the week of 1 February 2021 

Workforce arrangements during the lockdown period

1. Public sector employees whose work is essential as defined in the Stay at Home Directions will be directed to attend work as usual unless there are extenuating circumstances and alternative arrangements are entered into with the employer.

2. Public sector employees whose work is defined as non-essential will be directed to work from home.

3. Some public sector employees whose work is defined as non-essential will be unable to work from home at all, or unable to work their regular hours while at home. This may be for various reasons including the nature of the work, inability to access technology or appropriate equipment or the need to supervise children.

4. To support employees during the lockdown period, public sector employers are to pay all employees the amount they would otherwise have entitled to be paid (including allowances and penalties). The amount is to be calculated: 

  • for permanent employees, according to their anticipated working hours for the lockdown period;
  • for fixed-term contract employees, according to their contracted hours for the lockdown period; and
  • for casual employees, according to their rostered hours for the lockdown period.

5. Public sector employees are not required to access any form of leave, including COVID-19 leave, to cover absences from work during the lockdown period, except as provided in clause 6 below.

6. Public sector employees already on leave, or with leave approved to commence during the lockdown period, are to remain or proceed on that leave unless the employer agrees to reverse the leave booking. There should be no expectation that extended leave will be reversed unless there are convincing operational reasons.

7. These arrangements cease to apply at the end of the lockdown period.


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