Aged care peak bodies have long supported pandemic leave for workers at risk of COVID-19 but the reality is that without additional Government support many aged care workers will not be able to access the scheme.
While the Government has recently announced compensation to cover pandemic leave in hotspots such as metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, this does not extend across the nation.
We are also concerned that the government funding to cover pandemic leave in Victoria’s outbreak areas only applies for 8 weeks.
Since the pandemic, providers have invested millions in preventative measures to protect their residents and staff.
We believe aged care workers deserve pandemic leave – to support them and to protect residents and co-workers – however, providers cannot afford it.
The sector has been asking the Commonwealth to fund pandemic leave since April.
There is no way the funding so far announced can cover the cost of pandemic leave.
We are also extremely concerned that the sector is approaching the end of the short-term COVID-19 funding measures for aged care but we are far from the end of coronavirus outbreaks and the spread of the disease amongst older Australians.
It is crucial that no staff or providers are disadvantaged during these challenging and deadly times, with aged care services doing the best they can to keep the people in care, and the people who care, safe from harm.
Leading Age Services Australia
Nick Way email@example.com 0419 835 449
Aged & Community Services Australia
Peter Stahel firstname.lastname@example.org 0408 584 439
Aged Care Guild
Shannon Rennie email@example.com 0431 309 694