Question :
If casual staff are sick and it is not Covid-19 related should they still get the subsidy? Also if full-time staff are sick and it is not Covid-19 related and have no sick leave left do they still get the subsidy? They are saying they have flu like systems but on their medical certificate it does not specify why they are sick. Thanks

Question submitted 29/05/20 @ 10:51am
Industry: HR & Talent
  • Up

    Hi there – the first thing, I will assume they are on the Wage Subsidy, and not the original Covid-19 Leave Scheme that provided a subsidy when workers were sick with Covid-19.

    First thing, the Wage Subsidy is a payment to the ’employer’ to keep your employees connected to the business – yes, this payment ends up getting paid to the employee but it gets paid to you as the employer. Some employers use the subsidy to help with payments to their employees as they are still at 80% or even some at 100%.

    When it comes to sick leave, holiday leave – this is all your responsibility as an employer – if the employee has rights to sick leave (many have say 5 or 10 days in their contracts per annum) or rights to holiday leave, then you still have to fund that as part of the employment obligations.

    To your question around the full time employee who has run out of sick leave balances, then this is a question for the employer to work through with the employee. You could still give them extra sick leave as a discretion, or you can explain that the employee has used up all of their sick leave entitlement and they will need to take leave without pay – it is something to be discussed with the employee- I have seen both situations played out.

    You also always have the right to ask for more detail on their illness, albeit if the CT says they are not fit to come to work, then that is pretty clear – Andy

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