HSU Members at Georges Estate contacted local Organiser Hyojung Kim to raise a few issues around the directives local management distributed via phone message. Your Organiser wrote to your management on members' behalf, immediately after the Union members' meeting and received the management's response on 14 July 2023.
Please see below for your entitlements and the communication between your Organiser and your management.
1. Personal leave notice and evidence
Members were advised by the management that they were "required to produce a medical certificate until further notice" when calling in sick. Members who cannot access Medicare are concerned about having to pay for the medical consultation fee to obtain a certificate. As you may know, evidence can be in other forms. According to cl. 44.5 (b) of your Enterprise Agreement, you "may be required" to give your employer the evidence for your personal leave; the evidence can be either:
(1) a medical certificate from a medical practitioner; or
(2) a statutory declaration made by you stating that you were or will be unfit for work because of personal illness or injury; or
(3) evidence that would satisfy a reasonable personal that the leave was taken for a permissible reason or occasion.
2. Required PCR test
Members also received a message on 23 June 2023 that if you have Covid, "you MUST produce a PCR result". Your Organiser raised a concern of the potential financial burden for the same reason as above due to the required GP's referral letter for PCR test. Your employer kindly agreed to "revert back to RAT positive only". You are no longer required to submit PCR test result to prove that you have Covid.
3. Covid leave payment - Yes, it is available!
Regarding the managerial advice on Covid leave, your Organiser advised your employer on the current "Aged care worker COVID-19 leave payment grants" which providers of government funded residential aged care can access to pay their permanent and casual aged care workers who need to be away because of Covid case. This fund can be claimed by your employer not by individual workers. The program covers the leaves taken between April 2023 and the end of the year. Please go to the link for more details.