COVID-19 leave should be made available for frontline health workers


COVID-19 leave should be made available to healthcare and other frontline workers immediately Shadow Minister for Health Giulia Jones said today.

“For the entire pandemic, ACT Government Ministers have been thanking health workers in press conferences, but now it seems that nurses are expected to use up sick leave before being granted COVID-19 leave.

“Actions speak louder than words. It isn’t good enough for workers to be without COVID leave when they are working with COVID patients every day, when this leave was created for this very purpose.

“It really is mean and heartless.”

Mrs Jones comments were a response to media reports that COVID-19-positive healthcare workers were being required to:

  • use all their sick leave before being able to access the Government’s special COVID‑19 leave, and
  • return to work while still positive if they were asymptomatic.

Mrs Jones demanded that the ACT Government looked after overworked healthcare workers who have been carrying the burden for government over the whole pandemic and before.

“The Canberra Health Service’s HR system and employment agreements are not suited to COVID and should be immediately revised or amended to reflect the new reality.

“They have had two years to plan for this situation. Workers should definitely not be expected to come back to work while still COVID positive,” Mrs Jones concluded.