Since this pandemic began five months ago, we've been calling for paid pandemic leave.
With 80% of new coronavirus infections in Victoria linked to workplaces, it's clear that we need financial incentives to keep people at home when they’re sick or have been exposed to the virus.
Workers cannot be forced to choose between paying their bills and protecting their colleagues, customers and patients. Whenever we force that choice on people the community is put at risk.
This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison tried to trick Australians into believing that he was introducing paid pandemic leave in Victoria.
Scott Morrison’s announcement is a half measure that will see most workers have to take a pay cut to access the leave. A Victorian disaster payment won't stop a worker in New South Wales or Queensland turning up to work sick.
Unless we get a universal scheme we will have more community transmission, leading to more outbreaks and economy-smashing lockdowns.
We can't afford not to do this.