Paid pandemic leave win for aged care workers

Posted on
July 28, 2020
Aged Care Sector

Fair Work Commission decision.

Yesterday the Fair Work Commission awarded Paid Pandemic Leave to aged care workers.
The leave entitlement is for workers required to self-isolate by their employer, a medical authority or on the advice of a medical practitioner because they display COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with a person suspected of having COVID-19. 

  • Workers will have access to up to two weeks’ paid leave  on each occasion of self-isolation  
  • Workers who are able to work at home or remotely during self-isolation aren’t entitled to paid leave      
  • Casual employees engaged on a regular and systemic basis can access the leave. It will be paid based on their average earnings over the previous 6 weeks      
  • The paid pandemic leave entitlement will initially operate for a period of 3 months

On a national level, HACSU and other aged care unions ran the case for workers and put a huge amount of effort into securing this paid leave,and we’re extremely happy the FWC accepted our arguments and recognised the vulnerable nature of aged care residents as well as the financial vulnerability of workers across aged care.

Without this leave, the decision to work or not can become extremely difficult, and we know most staff work fortnight to fortnight and that being forced to take unpaid leave would be financially devastating for many.

The Fair Work Commission will finalise a new clause for relevant aged care awards tomorrow.

At this stage, the decision only applies to workers employed on the award, but we're writing to each employer across the state where we have EBAs asking them to commit to the new clause.

Aged care providers and event labour hire agencies will be able to recover funding from the federal government for wages associated with any required self-isolation by workers.

Once we have further information we'll let members know.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector