UnionsWA has welcomed the recent announcement by Federal and WA Governments that arrangements for supporting payments for those required to isolate as a result of the pandemic will protect the West Australian workforce and wider community.
Owen Whittle, Assistant Secretary UnionsWA said:
“This is common sense.
“Every day working people make a decision to either or present to work unwell, isolate or be tested
“We don’t want them making those decisions, when unwell while also under financial stress.
“The need for paid Pandemic Leave or a similar payment as announced by the Federal and WA Governments has been an urgent ask of working people and unions for sound health and economic reasons.
“The inclusion for such payments of those with only temporary work rights in WA is particularly welcome.
“Temporary overseas workers have previously been left without income support even when they have lost work entirely.
“We can’t afford to leave people destitute.
“The pandemic won’t discriminate and public policies shouldn’t either.
“These measures, which provide individuals with a $1,500 fortnightly payment when required to isolate are set at a minimum level.
“In some cases, working people will face a loss of income even with such support.
“To counter this we need a new, temporary, paid leave entitlement so that working people will not lose wages or risk their job to isolate or get tested when they need to.
“Nevertheless, this is a measure that is wide-spread, fair and an effective in terms of health protection.”