Did you know that pandemic leave has now been extended in many Awards until 30 June 2022?
This means that employees who are covered by one of the applicable Awards can continue to access two weeks of unpaid leave (or more if agreed) because they need to isolate; without having to use their entitlements and without concern of losing their job.
Note: Awards where pandemic leave no longer applies includes Clerks - Private Sector Award and Miscellaneous Award; however, you may still decide to offer pandemic leave to affected employees, to support their recovery and demonstrate loyalty and/or to mitigate the risk of a Worker's Compensation claim, if the employee can demonstrate that work was a major contributing factor to them contracting COVID..
An employee can also take twice as much leave at half pay. For example if a cafe is closed due to lack of stock, staff shortages, or other reasons; an employee could use their 4 weeks of accrued leave to take 8 weeks' leave. In this case, the employee would be paid as if they had only taken 4 weeks leave.
This could also be used in situations where an employee has an adverse reaction to a vaccine and needs to take time away from work to recover.
For more information about how pandemic leave can be applied and which Awards have been extended, refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman website; or if you need assistance to assess your responsibilities and devise an approach to retaining your talent, we are here to help.