Australian Government Stops Paying Pandemic Paid Leave Citing Continuing Costs


Australia’s Health Minister Mark Butler has stated that the government has no plans to continue paying pandemic leave to individuals who have to take time off from work after being infected with COVID-19.

Butler said ABC Radio National On Friday, the federal government did not have the financial capacity to continue to fund emergency payments that ended June 30.

This is despite the fact that Australians infected with COVID-19 may quarantine for 7 days and force workers to take sick or unpaid leave to cover the quarantine period.

“At some point in this pandemic, we need to reach that point and begin lifting emergency measures,” Butler said the Australians were well informed about the end of the pandemic.

“We have $ 1 trillion in debt and we do not have the financial capacity to continue to fund these emergency measures forever.”

But when asked if financially vulnerable Australians could be forced to cooperate while COVID-19 was positive, Butler said he wanted not to.

“Well, we want not to, you know there are orders that they shouldn’t,” he said.

Butler said that the current health measures for COVID-19 were actually decided by the state government’s health authorities, and the federal government lifted the setting of an emergency for COVID-19 in May, making society normal to health authorities. He said he was giving enough time to return to.

Unions very critical of movement

The government’s decision was hit by criticism from the Australian Trade Union Council.

“It’s a mistake to stop paid pandemic leave,” says Sally McManus.

“Workers without paid sick leave need to be quarantined for seven days, which incurs severe financial penalties. Removing support for people to quarantine is the spread of the virus. It’s a surefire way to increase, “she wrote on Twitter.

The Minister of Health is also promoting increased use of COVID-19 antiviral treatments to reduce stress on the hospital system.

The Drug Benefits Advisory Board is tasked with reviewing eligibility criteria for access to antiviral therapy.

“I don’t think there’s a big level of awareness of these treatments in the community yet, that’s why I’ve tried to talk a lot about them over the past few weeks,” Butler said. “Therefore, raising awareness and raising information among the wider community and GP is a great focus for us.”

Victoria Kelly Clark


Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian-based reporter focusing on the national political and geopolitical environment of the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.