Woolworths has announced it will support staff affected by coronavirus.
The supermarket giant says it will continue to pay casual staff required to self-isolate due to the outbreak.
They will receive compensation for their rostered shifts during the isolation period.
Woolworths announces support for 55,000 casual staff
Woolworths is Australia’s largest employers of casual workers, with around 55,000 on its books.
The company said it wants to ensure workers required to be absent from work due to coronavirus will not be disadvantaged.
Woolies will support team members who cannot work if ordered by the Department of Health to self-isolate, or if they have the virus.
Workers required to care for others such as children, will also be supported.
Casual workers included in support
Full or part-time workers can take personal or carer’s leave if available.
Woolworths will top up used leave.
The company said casual workers will be paid based on their upcoming roster.
Woolworths group chief people officer, Caryn Katsikogianis, said the size of the supermarket giant as an Australian employer meant the company had a role to play as part of the broader public health response:
“We’re making 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.”
Government refuses to support casual workers
On Thursday, Scott Morrison announced a $17.6 billion stimulus package for the Australian economy, including
- tax relief for business
- and also a one-off $750 payment for welfare recipients and pensioners.
However, the package does not include provisions for casual workers, who are not eligible for entitlements such as annual leave.
Instead, Morrison said casual workers who can’t work because of the virus must apply for Newstart.
Attorney-general Christian Porter came under fire after saying on Tuesday that casual workers had “already made provisions” for coronavirus due to the higher rate of pay received in the form of casual loadings.
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