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Government proposes changes to Pandemic leave implementation guide

On Thursday 23 December, the Office of Industrial Relations provided draft amendments to the Implementation Guideline to Directive 01/20: Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Health Pandemic for feedback by 5 January.

The changes seek to clarify the governments position that where an unvaccinated person cannot attend a workplace the provisions of the directive related to continued payment of regular remuneration where an employer is directed not to attend work do not apply.

 The document also confirms the government position that Pandemic Leave is limited to the 20 days provided at the start of the pandemic.

The changes also clarify that flexible working arrangements or paid special leave should apply if someone is unable to enter Queensland, or is in quarantine due to a positive test.

Unfortunately the proposal does not address the bigger underlying issues with the Pandemic Leave Directive itself for example the sufficiency of 20 days of leave for a pandemic now extending into its third year and the surge of cases expected, inconsistencies about the rate of pay for the various types of Covid related leave, and the provision of leave for Vaccine related side effects.

The Union office will provide feedback on the guideline and the other matters not dealt with early in the new year.