Leave entitlements for essential workers

Essential employers with employees on leave due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the Government’s Essential Workers Leave Support.
Essential businesses (including grocers, pharmacies, security services, and essential equipment retailers such as construction outlets and locksmiths) may be applicable for the Essential Workers Leave Support if their employee(s) are not able to work due to COVID-19 circumstances. To be eligible, essential employers must:
  • have experienced a 30% or higher reduction in revenue (actual or predicted) over at least a month when compared to the same month last year due to COVID-19; or
  • are unable to sustain employee payments due to COVID-19 restrictions. This can include paying for an employee’s leave as well replacement staff.
To be eligible, essential employees need to meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • The employee is sick with COVID-19 and must remain in isolation until a health professional allows them to be released.
  • The employee is in self-isolation due to being in contact with another person infected with COVID-19.
  • The employee is responsible for dependents who have contracted
COVID-19 or are self-isolating due to close contact with an infected person. 
The employee has existing health conditions (such as severe asthma, diabetes, immunocompromising conditions, liver diseases, or they are over the age of 70) that puts them at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, and has an agreement with their employer to avoid work for a period of time.
If employers are not eligible for Government supported leave, they still must adhere to regular employment laws when considering leave and meet contractual obligations, as well as their obligations to keep employees safe. 


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