Pandemic leave payment extension draws mixed reactions from Filipino workers in Australia

Strong points
  • The government will extend pandemic leave payments indefinitely, as long as states and territories continue to impose mandatory isolation periods.
  • An additional limit will be put in place on payments, to prevent people from taking advantage of the system.
  • Payment now sits at a maximum of $540 for five days of isolation.

How to listen to this podcast Source: SBS

September 30 was the supposed end to the pandemic leave payment before Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced its extension.

The Prime Minister said there would be an additional limit put in place on payments, to prevent people from taking advantage of the system.
Disaster payments were first implemented in August 2020, to support people forced to self-isolate without entitlement to sick leave.
They were initially capped at $1,500 per fortnight, during the 14 days of mandatory isolation.
This dropped to $750 for 7 days off for full-time employees and $450 per week for part-timers.

It now sits at a maximum of $540 for five days of isolation.

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Paul Seville

One of the beneficiary casual workers, Paul Sevilla, who works as a warehouse store in Melbourne, welcomed the extension.

“until negative [of COVID]I’m not allowed to work, so I applied for payment for pandemic leave and before there were a lot of questions, but I finally got the payment,” Paul said.
Another casual worker, Bryan Vince Soriano, said the payout is a big support for those with no job, no compensation plan like him.

“I applied for pandemic leave payment financial assistance and received $750, which is a huge help,” Bryan explained.

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Bryan Vince Soriano

Part-timer Kritza Mae Aninag, however, is dismayed that she did not use said payment for the period she needed because her sick leave entitlements were not sufficient.

She works as a personal care assistant in an aged care facility and is calling on the government to disseminate this information widely.

My wish for the government is to broaden the scope of information dissemination. I was not informed of this extension and even our employer did not warn us.

Kritza Mae Aninag

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Kritza Mae Aninag


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Elaine R. Knight