Union wins paid COVID-19 leave for casuals

The union representing Australian public sector workers has won paid leave for over 8000 casual workers if they are affected by COVID 19.

The CPSU has been making the case for paid leave to the Australia Public Service Commission, reinforcing how casuals would be adversely affected by not having access to the paid leave if required to self-isolate or sick.

The Commission has responded to this pressure, and extended its APS wide directive to include casual staff. As of today, casuals who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, or who contract COVID-19 will now have access to the paid leave, just like permanent staff.

But there are still over 23,000 public sector labour hire and contractors that are not covered by this announcement. The CPSU is calling on the Morrison Government to ensure these workers have access to the paid leave if they are affected.

CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly today said, “I am pleased to report that the CPSU has secured paid leave for all casuals in the Australia Public Service affected by COVID-19. People shouldn’t have to choose between staying at home and paying the rent.”

“We are glad that the APSC has confirmed that all public sector employees will have access paid leave entitlements, including paid miscellaneous leave or work from home arrangements if quarantined.“

“But we are very concerned that the government is refusing to provide any clarity if over 23,000 contractors and labour hire workers will be covered by this arrangement. On one hand we see the Morrison Government is trying to stimulate the economy, while on the other hand it is refusing to protect its own workforce.”

“The CPSU is calling on the Morrison Government to ensure that it takes the plight of these 23,000 workers seriously. This is not just a matter of equity; it is about the essential public health response and ensuring government service delivery.”