Woolworths joins Australian companies who say they will pay casual staff who self-isolate due to the coronavirus

Woolies will support workers who self isolate. (Photo by Hugh Peterswald/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Woolworths will pay full time, part time and casual staff who self isolate due to the coronavirus.
  • The supermarket sent a memo to staff highlighting the new leave support measures it is introducing.
  • Under the new measures, casual workers will be paid based on their upcoming two-week roster.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Woolworths will pay full-time, part-time and casual workers who have to self-isolate because of the coronavirus.

In a memo sent to staff, the supermarket announced new guidelines and leave support measures for workers affected by the coronavirus.

Workers who have the coronavirus or are required by the Department of Health to self isolate because of it will get paid. Those who have to care for someone who is in isolation will also get paid.

Staff in the above scenarios will first need to determine whether personal or carer’s leave can be used. If they don’t have leave or it’s used up, Woolies will pay what the worker would receive on personal or carer’s leave for up to two weeks.

Casual workers will be paid based on their upcoming two-week roster. Woolies employs around 55,000 casual workers across Big W, BWS and Dan Murphy’s.

Woolies emphasised that those who are required to stay home because of the coronavirus shouldn’t be disadvantaged because of their employment status or amount of personal leave.

“As Australia’s largest private employer, we recognise we have a key role to play as part of the broader public health response,” Woolworths group chief people officer, Caryn Katsikogianis said in a statement.

“We’ve made it clear to our team that we’ll look after anyone impacted by the outbreak whether they’re full-time, part-time or casual. This is not only the right thing to do by those team members, but also an important measure to ensure everybody in our business takes appropriate action in response to public health advice.”

Affected Woolies staff will have to notify their line manager and give supporting documents like medical certificates. They can use any other accrued entitlements where necessary and if these aren’t enough to cover the time they need off, Woolworths will work with them to make sure they’re supported.

Telstra will also pay casual workers who self-isolate

Woolworths’ move comes after Telstra announced its new epidemic and pandemic policy, which gives permanent, fixed-term and casual staff up to 14 days of paid leave if they have to be quarantined or self isolate due to the coronavirus.

It applies to all of Telstra’s workforce nationally and internationally, even if they are part of a Telstra subsidiary.

Alex Badenoch, Group Executive of Transformation, Communications & People at Telstra said in a statement, “This is an unprecedented situation – one that requires us to step up, be there for our people and give those who need it most the support and reassurance to get through this difficult time.”


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