PM opens door to paid pandemic leave, after months long union campaign
After four months of campaigning from unions across the country, including the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked his Minister for Industrial Relations to begin negotiations with unions and business around the idea.
In an interview, Morrison confirmed that paid pandemic leave was part of “ongoing discussions between government, employer groups and employees on a range of issues around managing the pandemic”. However, when pressed on the nature of these discussions, the Prime Minister did not respond directly to the question.
In a statement on Facebook, Australian Unions secretary Sally McManus lauded the move, saying that it will “save jobs and lives”.
“We welcome the Prime Minister asking the Minister for Industrial Relations to discuss with us paid pandemic leave for all workers”, McManus said.
“This initiative is a key part of our defence against the spread of COVID-19”.
The Fair Work Commission recently introduced paid pandemic leave for nurses under the Nurses Award 2010. The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is continuing to negotiate with individual employer groups to have this leave across the profession, as well as lobbying governments to institute the leave for all workers.
Be part of the campaign for paid pandemic leave by joining your nursing and midwifery union. You can join us through this link.