Paid pandemic leave now available for all SA workers 

25 August 2020

After months of lobbying by the ANMF (SA Branch) and other unions, paid pandemic leave payments of up to $1,500 are now available for South Australian workers required to quarantine or care for someone required to quarantine.

Under the State Government scheme, a separate upfront ‘testing’ payment of $300 will be available for eligible workers in an identified COVID-19 cluster, who are required to self-isolate while awaiting a coronavirus test result or as a result of a public health directive, InDaily reports.

The $300 payment will also be available for someone who is caring for a person who meets the eligibility criteria, as listed above.

The South Australian scheme is available to recipients aged 17 or over who can demonstrate they would have otherwise been at work and had no or insufficient paid leave entitlements, InDaily writes. It will be backdated to yesterday but is not available to people who are required to quarantine for 14 days (or more) due to returning from overseas or interstate.

“We welcome this move by the State Government as paid pandemic leave is something we have strongly advocated for, and directly with the State Treasurer as recently as this month,’’ ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj. Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said.

“Paid pandemic leave will help protect the community from infection by protecting workers from financial hardship when having to comply with quarantine regulations.

“This is particularly good news for casual workers within the aged care sector,’’ Ms Dabars said.

“We will continue to advocate for COVID-19 to be presumed to be contracted in the course of employment for the purposes of Workers Compensation coverage.’’