We received guidelines for workers from the government yesterday, a week after we met with them. To say the least, they are underwhelming. They do nothing to provide security for people in insecure work, like casuals.
The guidelines are as follows:
If you are directed to self-isolate or stay away from the workplace, you will be paid your regular salary without using your leave entitlements. Agencies will be exploring options to facilitate workers working from home. No definitive advice has been provided in relation to working from home and different agencies will implement different arrangements.
If you are required to provide emergency support to children or a Member of your household, you will be required to use your own personal leave entitlements. If you do not have a sufficient balance or you run out of personal leave, the agencies will consider each circumstance on a case by case basis.
If you are unwell,including if you contract Covid-19, you will be required to use your own personal leave entitlements. If you do not have a sufficient balance or you run out of personal leave, the agencies will consider each circumstance on a case by case basis.
If you are a casual or sessional worker and you are asked to self-isolate or stay away from the workplace, you will be paid for any shift you had already accepted but no other support will be offered. The government have advised these employees can seek assistance from Centrelink.
The government had the opportunity to show decisive and insightful leadership,but instead we’ve been given the same old middle of the road rubbish.
The fact that health and community services workers aren’t being guaranteed their income when they’re self-isolating to protect the patients, clients and their colleagues is a danger to the community.
HACSU, along with other public sector unions, will be responding to this and telling the government that this is not good enough, and that workers –especially health and community workers – should not be disadvantaged by the pandemic.
If you have concerns about this advice, particularly if it is contradictory to the advice from public health officials or us, you can discuss with our team at HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email@example.com
Thank you again for all the vital work you do helping your fellow Tasmanians.