Why we still need paid pandemic leave

With cases numbers continuing to surge in Victoria and NSW, it’s more important than ever that all workers are provided with paid pandemic leave to help stop the spread.

No worker should have to choose between going to work sick or being able to pay the bills during this pandemic.

That’s why since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, the SDA has been calling on employers and the Federal Government to provide 2 weeks paid leave to all workers who have to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19.

We can’t become complacent towards this public health crisis.

Whether you’re casual or full-time, all workers need to have access to paid self-isolation leave if they think they’ve contracted the virus.

1 in 3 workers in Australia don’t have access to any form of paid leave and many of these workers simply can’t afford to take time off if they’re sick.

We need the Government to intervene and ensure all employers can provide workers with paid leave.

Providing all workers with 2 weeks paid leave would allow all workers who believe they have COVID-19 to get tested and if needed, take time to recover before returning to work.

Outbreaks like the McDonald’s cluster in Victoria – where workers weren’t provided with paid leave – show exactly why paid pandemic leave is necessary.

If these workers had been provided with pandemic leave, they would have been able to get tested and recover without losing their income and this whole outbreak could have been avoided.

If a second wave of infections come, we need to ensure all workers have access to paid pandemic leave to stop their coworkers, their families and their communities from getting infected.

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