Jul 19, 2020

Casual Aged Care Workers to be looked after, $1500 worker support payment continues

The State of Emergency will also be extended until 11.59pm on 16 August 2020, allowing for the enforcement of this direction and other vital public health directions from the Chief Health Officer.

While there has been a decrease in the number of cases being spread between families, the majority of our outbreaks are now coming from settings where people are working closely together.

To address the spike in cases in aged care settings, the Victorian Government has been working closely with the Commonwealth on a range of measures, ensuring care workers are equipped to prevent the spread of coronavirus while providing quality care.

As the risk of transmission in aged care and health care settings remains high, from 22 July, visitation will be restricted to those defined as carers only, with a limit of one hour per day. And like previous asymptomatic staff testing blitzes, aged care staff will be able to access free testing, even if they don’t have symptoms.

The Government will work closely with hospitals and care providers in the coming days to ensure these changes are made in a careful and sensitive way to support the needs of patients and residents.

The Victorian Government’s one-off $1500 worker support payment is still available to support Victorian workers, including those in aged care, who have been instructed to stay home because they’ve had a positive test or need to self-isolate as a close contact.

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said this morning in a press conference:
“I don’t want people looking at their bank balance and making a judgement that they have to go and do that shift even though they got symptoms or they have been tested and they’re waiting for a result or they have been tested and they’re positive, or they have been informed that they are a close contact of somebody who is positive.

“We don’t want those choices being made and there’s no reason for those choices to be made given that $1,500 hardship payment is there for exactly these reasons.

“If you are casual, if you do not have sick leave that you can fall back on, if it would take time to basically become eligible or to receive a payment by other means, that $1,500 payment is exactly there for you and — it is very important that people make that choice knowing that there’s that $1,500 safety net, make the choice that’s in favour of public health rather than any other choice.”

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