As of this week, South Australians have access to Paid Pandemic Leave, the state government has announced.
Funded by the government of South Australia, an ‘isolation’ payment of up to $1,500 will be offered to eligible workers who are required to quarantine, or who care for someone required to quarantine, for up to 14 days following a positive COVID-19 test or as a result of a public health directive.
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.
The $300 payment will also be available for someone who is caring for a person who meets the eligibility criteria.
Australian unions, including the ANMF SA Branch, have been campaigning for Paid Pandemic Leave for workers across the state. With the introduction of the scheme, the government hopes it will provide financial support for casual workers to follow public health advice and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and a potential second wave.
“Lack of leave entitlements for workers, particularly casual workers, is considered a significant risk factor in not complying with isolation requirements. Providing pandemic leave to support cooperation is another part of the Marshall Liberal government’s strong plan to protect South Australians from COVID-19,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.
“We’ve seen, interstate, the serious consequences of individuals who have continued to work while showing symptoms of COVID-19 or awaiting test results – with data from Victoria indicating as many as nine out of 10 people who later tested positive for coronavirus were not self-isolating between the onset of symptoms and getting a test.”