Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

    McGowan Government introduces COVID-19 leave for public sector workers

    16/03/2020 1:35 PM
    • Up to 20 days paid leave available to public sector workers in response to COVID-19
    • COVID-19 leave to provide a safe work environment and assist to reduce the spread of the virus

    The McGowan Government will introduce 'COVID-19 leave' for all Western Australian public sector workers to make sure those who are sick stay home, ensuring a safe work environment and helping to reduce the spread of the virus.


    Up to 20 days' leave will be available to all public sector employees whose paid personal, carers, or sick leave entitlements are exhausted. This will not affect an employee's annual leave or long service leave.


    The COVID-19 paid leave will also be available to casual public sector staff.


    It will be available for employees who:

    • have contracted the virus themselves;
    • who have to self-isolate due to illness;
    • need to care for a dependant who has the virus or because of school closure or disruption to other care arrangements; or
    • cannot attend work because of transport or other disruptions.

    There is no current evidence that public sector employees are being financially disadvantaged by needing to take leave without pay because of COVID-19.


    However, this could change as the virus spreads and absences increase, primarily on employees with low personal or sick leave credits, and casual employees.


    For further details of the policy please see the Department of Mines and Industry Regulation and Safety Public Sector Labour Division Circular 5 visit https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations/covid-19-coronavirus-information-public-sector-employers


    Comments attributed to Premier and Public Sector Management Minister Mark McGowan:


    "We have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for the State's hard-working public sector employees.


    "The new COVID-19 leave arrangements give workers peace-of-mind in knowing there is paid leave available to them, should they need to self-isolate."


    Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:


    "As we continue to manage the spread of COVID-19, it's vital that those displaying symptoms do not feel any pressure to continue to work, particularly due to financial concerns.


    "This is a responsible arrangement that will ensure workers' health is prioritised and we continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Industrial Relations Minister's office - 6552 6700