Staff Memo 25-07-2022


At the moment, lost hours because a staff member is identified as having a COVID infection or being a close contact is covered by sick leave and annual leave as a back-up.

There is no common approach between employers on how to deal with employees who may have contracted the virus in a workplace and lost working hours because they are required to isolate as directed by Public Health.

Some employers allow the use of sick leave and annual leave as a back-up.  If an employee has depleted their accrued leave entitlements, they are told to apply for the government COVID payment.

NWSS has decided the best approach remains the use of sick leave with annual leave as a back-up.  These entitlements are always paid at the ordinary rate.

However, we understand that it is an issue if an employee has depleted their sick and annual leave, in that circumstance NWSS will advance sick leave to cover the period and it can be reimbursed back to NWSS as the employee accrues more sick leave.

This use of sick and annual leave requires that an employee be on the part-time or full-time employee entitlement rate or be willing to transfer from the casual to the entitlement rate.  We are happy for people to apply to convert.

If an employee decides to stay on the casual rate, they will have to apply for lost hours through the government COVID payment as casual employees are paid the 25% casual loading instead of getting leave entitlements.

NWSS believes, that under these circumstances, advancing leave is a generous approach.

COVID management is changing by the day and these arrangements could change at any time.

Neal Rodwell — General Manager — North West Support Services — 0418 140 000