We Need Paid Pandemic Leave Now

On July 31 the ABC reported that one of Australia's largest disability service providers, Aruma, has confirmed three residents and seven staff in a Victorian group home have tested positive to COVID-19.

Ignoring requests from unions, the Fair Work Commission delayed introducing paid pandemic leave earlier this month because the risk wasn't "elevated enough".

If they don't act now, when will they? We have written this letter to the Fair Work Commission to demand they reconsider their decision.

Unions have been calling for paid pandemic leave since the beginning of the pandemic. The risk has always been elevated - and only increases when people are forced to make a choice between staying home or putting food on the table.

On April 8 the Fair Work Commission introduced paid pandemic leave for some health care workers. Unions called for the leave to be extended to other workers and appealed. 

Then on July 8 the Fair Work Commission again said that there was no need to introduce paid pandemic leave. The Fair Work Commission said they would only consider paid pandemic leave if there was an "elevated risk amongst health and care workers".

Now we have an outbreak in Aged Care sector and the beginning of an outbreak in the disability sector.
If now is not the time, how many more people must test positive?
The Fair Work Commission must act now and provide paid pandemic leave for all workers.