$450 to stay if there is a pandemic, unless the national cabinet gets rid of mandatory isolation.
Anthony Albanese has given the clearest sign yet that the $450 pandemic pay will stay in place until the national cabinet gets rid of mandatory isolation.
Anthony Albanese has given the clearest sign yet that the $450 pandemic pay will stay in place unless and until the national cabinet gets rid of mandatory isolation.
At a press conference in Canberra, the Prime Minister shut down talk that the payments might be dumped before the iso rules are changed.
Mr. Albanese said, "My own view is that if the government sets limits or imposes restrictions, then the government has to take care of the consequences of those choices."
At the moment, the pandemic pay plan will end on September 30.
But Mr. Albanese's comments make it sound like he will extend the current five-day iso rules if Australia doesn't decide to get rid of them.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet wants the mandatory requirement to end "as soon as possible," so the National Cabinet will meet this week.
But both Premier Dan Andrews of Victoria and Mr. Perrottet agree that payments for pandemic leave should stay in place as long as COVID-19 isolation is required.
Last month, the national cabinet agreed that COVID-19 will only have to be isolated for five days instead of seven.
This meant that the payment was cut from $750 to $450 for most workers who were eligible.
The decision, which went into effect on September 9, doesn't apply to "vulnerable settings." For example, workers in nursing homes may have to stay home for a week.
Even if these workers don't have sick leave, they can still get up to $750.
"This would be true for those who don't have any symptoms. We want people to stay home if they have symptoms," Mr. Albanese said.
"We want people to do what's right. There will still be seven days of isolation for people who work in high-risk places, like nursing homes and homes for people with disabilities.
Bill Shorten, who is in charge of Services Australia, said today that the pandemic leave program has cost taxpayers $320 million since July.
But when asked today if this was "too much," Mr. Albanese said "No."
“No. We decided to do it. Since July 20, the amount is $320 million," he said.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than $2.2 billion has been paid out in paid pandemic leave.
Before the national cabinet meeting in August, Mr. Andrews spoke in Melbourne and flatly rejected calls to get rid of all ISO rules, as is done in the UK.
He said, "I don't have any advice that would be the right thing to do."
Mr. Andrews said that state leaders had asked for health advice because the number of cases was going down and summer was coming up.
At the time, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that people who do not have sick leave could not get pandemic payments past September "forever."
"I can see the point. If the government tells you to stay home, you should get paid for it," he said.
"That is something that will be talked about by the national cabinet."