Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments for Victoria

by Caity Wynn, 2 minutes read
HOME blog pandemic leave disaster payments for victoria

Recently, Victoria entered a second, more severe period of lockdown amid the surging cases of COVID-19 across the state.

To help ensure that the next six weeks of lockdown reduces the number of coronavirus case numbers, Fair Work and the Federal government have announced new compensation measures for those that need to take sick leave to quarantine.

While there are some areas of the Worker Support Payment for all Victorians that are being defined, read on to find out the last changes Fair Work released that impact Victorians working in the Aged Care industry specifically.

Paid Pandemic Leave for Residential Aged Care employees

The speed and extent to which COVID-19 has spread throughout aged care facilities in Victoria has been devastating . While it’s important that any employee that feels unwell or has been told to quarantine are able to do so, it is absolutely critical for those working in aged care, with elderly members of our community being much more susceptible to the virus.

To ensure that financial pressure or job security does not impact an employees ability to self-isolate, Fair Work have recently introduced a paid pandemic leave to provide additional support to those working in aged care.

Commencing 29 July 2020, employers and most employees working under the Aged Care Award, as well as those working in the aged care industry under the Nurses Award or the Health Services Award, will be entitled to paid pandemic leave.

Each time an eligible employee is required to self isolate in accordance with any of these conditions, they may be entitled to two weeks of paid leave as calculated below.

  • Full-time employees will be paid using their base rate, according to their ordinary hours of work (as if they were taking normal sick leave)

  • Part-time employees will need to be paid either they higher of:

    • Their agreed ordinary hours of work

    • The average of their weekly ordinary hours of work over the past six weeks

  • Casual employees will need to be paid based on an average of their weekly pay across the previous six weeks. If they’ve been employed for less than six weeks, the pay can be based on an average of their weekly pay for the time they’ve been employed.

There are additional requirements for paid pandemic leave, including a requirement that the employee seeking leave take a coronavirus test, and an exclusion for employees who are eligible for paid sick or carers’ leave, or workers’ compensation benefits. Please review Fair Work’s guide to paid pandemic leave for additional details.

In Deputy, this can be easily managed through setting up a dedicated leave type for “paid pandemic leave.”

If an employee needs to self-isolate, this leave type reduces questions around what they will be entitled to and how to submit a leave timesheet for pandemic leave.

Additionally, this leave type also helps streamline the process for managers, who can make sure that the impacted staff members are taken off the roster, and their paid leave is managed separately to their other types of leave.

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