26 September 2023

Health staff granted COVID work leave

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A new policy governing Queensland Health and Queensland Ambulance Service staff will see them accessing up to 20 days of paid pandemic leave without having to exhaust their sick leave.

According to the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath the policy will be applied retrospectively and employees who have caught COVID-19 since 13 December 2021 will be able to use pandemic leave and have their sick leave credited back to them.

The Minister said the changes had been made to ensure health and ambulance workers were not unduly impacted if they were infected.

“Our hospital and health staff have a higher risk than most people of being exposed to the virus, so it’s important they are supported with appropriate policies,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Under current arrangements, staff must use their sick leave before accessing pandemic leave; we are changing that so they can access their pandemic leave as soon as they test positive to COVID-19.”

She said the arrangements would also apply to health and ambulance staff who take leave to care for family or other household members as a result of COVID-19, in recognition of the sacrifices they had made.

“Queensland Health and the Queensland Ambulance Service have led our pandemic response over the past two-and-a-half years and the staff of both organisations have done an amazing job of protecting Queenslanders,” the Minister said.

Staff can apply for pandemic leave via MyHR, the internal payroll system, and must certify they have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive.

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