Health sector workers denied paid pandemic leave

The Fair Work Commission's ruling applies to nine modern awards

Health sector workers denied paid pandemic leave

In a judgment made on 8 July 2020, the FWC declined paid pandemic leave for nine modern awards in the health and social services sectors, including the:

  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010; and
  • Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award 2020.

Paid pandemic leave, which entitles an employee to 14 days of paid leave for self-isolation, quarantining or caring for someone with COVID-19, was found unnecessary to meet the objectives of these awards.

While health and social sector workers will not receive paid pandemic leave, residential aged care employees will, including those covered by the:

  • Aged Care Award 2010;
  • Nurses Award 2010; and
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020.

This decision was made to eliminate financial incentives to hide COVID-19 symptoms or contact with suspected cases.

With the rapidly changing pandemic, the FWC will continue to review the situation.

Key Takeaways for HR:

  • Paid pandemic leave was not established in nine health and social sector awards but was granted under various aged care awards.
  • The FWC will continue to monitor and review the decision in light of changing circumstances.

Recent articles & video

COVID-19 vaccine: How employers can reduce hesitancy among staff

Wall Street VP: ‘My disability is my superpower’

The Smith Column - Uneasy lies the head that wears the techno-crown

How to build belonging in a virtual world

Most Read Articles

Unemployment figures drop again as Australia's economy recovery continues

Huge outsourcing case goes before Federal Court

Future Super introduces menstrual and menopause leave