Union Win: HSU wins Paid Pandemic Leave in aged care

Friday 07 Aug 2020

In a ground-breaking decision, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has now granted our claim for paid pandemic leave in aged care. Leave to self-isolate will be made available to all award-reliant workers employed in residential aged care, including personal care workers, nurses, and allied health professionals. This does not apply to members working under enterprise agreements. We have written to the 12 largest aged care providers this week asking them to confirm they will pass on and apply these entitlements to their workforce.

The new paid pandemic leave provision:

  • provides for up to two weeks paid leave to self-isolate for each occasion when an employee is prevented from working and cannot work from home
  • requires employees to have taken a COVID test or take one at the earliest opportunity
  • applies to casuals who are employed on a regular and systematic basis (this appears to be a broad definition as the FWC has not placed a qualifying time period or other restriction on this definition).

The provision came into effect on 29 July 2020 and will last for at least three months. The full decision can be viewed here.

Following this decision, we have urged the FWC to extend the paid pandemic leave provision to disability support workers and home care workers covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award. The FWC has directed other parties to respond to our correspondence by 10 August 2020. Our correspondence can be viewed here.

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