Cost of pandemic leave should be absorbed by government – not business

Megan Motto, CEO, Governance Institute of Australia

Governance Institute has welcomed the announcement that aged care workers across Australia will receive paid pandemic leave in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19 – but says it should be up to Federal and/or State Governments to shoulder the costs.

Effective from tomorrow, paid pandemic leave needs to be paid to aged care workers who are forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19. This includes aged care workers and nurses employed under awards.

Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said that the paid pandemic leave scheme will help deter people from going into work when unwell but unless the costs of the paid leave are covered by government, more businesses will suffer.

“This is the kind of practical step that will have a real-world impact in slowing the spread of coronavirus, particularly among those caring for some of society’s most vulnerable people,” Ms Motto said.

“But under the proposed scheme these costs will likely serve to make life tougher for already beleaguered businesses. As details of the proposal continue to be ironed out, Governance Institute is calling on Government to support this important step financially.

“The government has had great success so far with its JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs. It makes sense for a paid pandemic leave scheme to also have their financial support.”

Governance Institute has just relaunched its Adding value to governance in aged care guide to help the embattled sector navigate an increasingly complex set of regulatory and operational challenges – Read more.


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