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National sick leave vital as COVID containment remains precarious: Bandt

As new infections increase again with many happening at workplaces, the Greens say there is new urgency to give every worker 14 days COVID sick leave, especially for the millions of Australians without any sick leave at all.

The ACTU has backed national sick leave, the Greens have a bill before parliament for 14 days’ COVID sick leave and the Greens will raise the issue at the COVID Senate committee hearings tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that this pandemic is not conquered yet. Making sure workers can take sick leave when they need to is an important public safety measure,” Greens Leader, Adam Bandt said.

“3.3 million Australians are without sick leave. In addition to being a terrible situation for those individuals and their families, it’s a public health risk and makes it harder to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Working people need to know that they’ll be supported if they self-isolate. We shouldn’t have people facing the choice between having no income or risking their and the community’s health.

“The government should step in and help employers meet the cost. This modest but vital provision could be easily funded with a sliver of the $60 billion dollar overestimate for JobKeeper.

“Some states are assisting workers, but there remains no provision for the rest of the country.

“The Greens believe that all workers should have sick leave during the crisis,” Bandt said.

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