Paid pandemic leave - a win for workers
South Australia’s peak trade union body has welcomed the announcement that a Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme will operate in South Australia immediately with payments of up to $1,500 for casual and other eligible workers who are required to quarantine or care for someone in quarantine.
SA Unions has been pressing the Commonwealth and State government to introduce a comprehensive scheme of paid pandemic leave since April.
The single most effective action the state government can take to protect the community from COVID-19 transmission is to ensure casual workers do not have to choose between putting food on the table or isolating to protect others from infection.
The scheme has a separate upfront “testing” payment of $300 for workers in a cluster awaiting a coronavirus test result.
Quotes attributable to SA Unions Secretary Angas Story
“Money for workers who are saving lives and saving jobs by staying home and doing the right thing is welcome”.
“This paid leave entitlement helps ensure casual workers will not lose wages or risk their job to isolate or get tested when they need to.
“We congratulate the State government on responding to union calls to protect the livelihood of casual workers and those without leave entitlements in order to protect the health of the whole community.
“We are disappointed the Commonwealth government has not yet introduced a national scheme that will cover all workers who need to get tested and isolate. That’s how we ensure that this pandemic ends as quickly as possible with as few people infected as possible.”
Who is eligible? A casual or full-time or part-time employee who can demonstrate they would have ordinarily worked and cannot as a result of the need to isolate and has no or insufficient entitlement to necessary paid leave.
Who is not eligible? Those receiving JobSeeker or JobKeeper during the period of self-isolation or those required to quarantine after returning from overseas and interstate.
How to apply Online application process, to be administered by the Department for Human Services