Congratulations to Woolworths – Statement from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary SDA

March 12, 2020 News Woolworths

Media statement | 12 March 2020

The SDA congratulates Woolworths for its decision to pay casual staff required to self-isolate as a consequence of COVID-19.

The company is demonstrating corporate leadership and community responsibility as Australia comes to terms of this significant threat to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

It is time for all other retailers to follow Woolworths’ lead.

Small and medium retailers, who have done it tough in recent months, need support, perhaps in the form of wage subsidies, to help them weather difficult times, support their staff and the communities they serve.

It is incredibly important for all workers to be able to access sick leave so that they can self-isolate to protect themselves and the community from the spread of COVID-19.

No Australian should be forced into choose between a pay-cheque to feed their family and endangering fellow workers and members of the community.

Australia has one of the most casualised workforces in the world. With 1 in 3 workers in Australia without access to paid leave, we need the government to intervene so that employers are able to fund proper leave for workers who have to self-isolate due to public health concerns.

Casual workers need to be provided with special paid leave so that they can self-isolate without losing their pay.

Sick people should not feel under pressure for financial reasons to go to work, therefore special paid leave for casuals should be an industrial standard adopted by all employers in all industries until the COVID -19 crisis passes.

If any retail workers are concerned about how COVID-19 is impacting their job, we encourage you to contact your union, the SDA.

Contact: Jim Middleton