This week the Fair Work Commission ordered Presbyterian Aged Care (PAC) to recredit leave to nine employees at one of its Sydney facilities after they were stood down due to their contact with a resident who was potentially exposed to COVID-19.
The HSU took the matter to the Fair Work Commission when members were stood down and required to use their own leave.
In his decision, Commissioner Johns stated, “The Relevant Employees should not be worse off than employees in the sector covered by the Aged Care Award.” He said recrediting the leave was “just the right thing to do” and that employees should not bear the cost of employers’ decisions, even if they were “entirely rational and appropriate”.
This is a significant victory for all aged care workers who have had little to no access to paid pandemic leave.
The HSU fully supports aged care operators doing everything to contain the spread of COVID-19. But asking low-paid aged care workers to carry the cost is unfair and unsustainable.
I want to thank the HSU members at PAC who have taken a brave stand, and I encourage members who have been forced on leave by their employer above and beyond the public health orders that are in place to get in contact with your local organiser or email email@example.com.
If you know someone who isn’t an HSU member, let them know about this victory and that the HSU will always stand up for the rights of members. New members can join by calling 1300 478 679 or at www.hsu.asn.au/join.