The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently made determinations varying the following awards:

  • Aged Care Award
  • Nurses Award
  • Health Services Award

A new schedule, Schedule Y, now provides access to Paid Pandemic Leave for eligible full-time, part-time and regular casual employees.

Under Schedule Y, employees are entitled to up to 2 weeks PAID leave if they can’t work because:

  • their employer, or government or medical authorities, require them to self-isolate or quarantine
  • they have to self-isolate or quarantine while waiting for a coronavirus test result
  • they are showing symptoms of coronavirus and have been advised by a medical practitioner to self-isolate or quarantine
  • they have come into contact with a person suspected of having contracted coronavirus, or
  • of government or medical authority measures taken in response to coronavirus (including, for example, closing a facility).

Importantly, employees who want to take paid pandemic leave need to have already been tested for coronavirus for each occasion of leave, or agree to get tested as soon as possible. If they don’t, they aren’t entitled to take the leave.

Some other important exceptions apply, including that:

  • the employee can’t take pandemic leave, where personal/carer’s leave would otherwise apply. I.e. if they have another personal illness or injury, or need to care for someone who is sick or injured etc.
  • the employee can’t take pandemic leave if they are entitled to workers’ compensation for contracting coronavirus as a result of their work.

At this stage, the leave needs to start before, but can end after 29 October 2020.


If you need to start implementing this leave in your business but are unsure how to apply it, get in touch with our Workplace Partners ASAP.


*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into accou.t