Chesters Calls for Action Around Paid Pandemic Leave

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling for action around paid pandemic leave for all Central Victorian workers.

“I’ve spoken with many local workers, unions and employers over the past few months. 

“Almost every workplace is doing something different when it comes to leave entitlements for COVID-19 testing and isolation,” Chesters said.

“No worker should be left considering if they should go to work with mild symptoms to pay the bills.

“The Federal Government should consider offering financial support to help local businesses, who are already struggling, cover the wages for staff members who need to isolate or get tested.” 

“Whilst the Victorian Government has introduced a one-off payment for casual workers who test positive to COVID-19, there still needs to be more support for business at a federal level.

“The Federal Government need to offer support to help local businesses, who are already struggling, cover the wages for staff members who need to isolate or get tested.”

On Monday the Fair Work Commission granted paid pandemic leave to the aged care sector, finding those workers are exposed to an elevated risk of self-isolation and would suffer significant financial distress without support.  

“This was an acknowledgement that the people who work in this sector, looking after our most vulnerable people, are still having to navigate issues around insecure and low paid work,” Chesters said.

“I welcome the decision and call on the Federal Government to consider extending this entitlement to all workers who are required to self-isolate,” Chesters said.

 “All Central Victorians should be able to safely stop work when needed to tackle this pandemic knowing that they can access paid pandemic leave.

“If required, The Federal Government should help fund paid pandemic leave for all sectors and workers not already receiving JobKeeper.”