By April Murphy
Although Queensland residents have done exceptionally well at maintaining the contamination of COVID-19, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is still implementing relief packages for suffers, carers or self-isolators.
After an arrangement with the Commonwealth, the Premier has announced that the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment arrangements have been extended for Queensland.
The payment of $1500 is awarded to residents that are self-isolating or in quarantine during the pandemic. If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 and unable to work, you are also eligible for the payment.
“Many Queenslanders are in a situation where they have had to self-isolate or quarantine and have used up their leave entitlements leaving them with no income,” says the Premier.
However, you are not elidable for the payment if you are currently receiving an income, JobKeeper or other forms of Australian Government support.
People can claim the payment again if their self-isolation or quarantine period is extended longer than 14 days.
In August the state government’s pandemic directive outlined the additional paid leave available if flexible work is unable to be negotiated AND you have exhausted your sick leave balance (for your health, or because of care responsibilities).
Queensland Teachers have also been given other options if they are unable to work due to suffering or caring for someone with the virus.
These options include:
• Seeking paid special leave of up to five days from your principal (principals have the authority to approve up to 5 days of paid special leave, per reason, per year). Requests that outline your personal circumstance should be put in writing to your principal.
• Accessing accrued LSL for sick leave/carer’s leave purposes when you have exhausted sick leave and pandemic leave.
• If you are experiencing financial hardship and have accrued LSL there is the capacity to seek a cash payment instead of long service leave to a continuing employee.
• Access to meritorious sick leave for teachers with 26 years of service within the public sector.
To claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment call 180 22 66 or access information at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster.