Tuesday, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: Life Without Barriers, Australian Unity and Achieve Australia confirm special leave

Covid News – March 2020 (PDF version)

Your union last week wrote to all Disability, Home Care, and Client Support Service providers seeking to be consulted on what contingency plans are being developed to support staff effected by COVID-19. In particular, your union has raised concerns around provisions relating to how staff, including casuals, will be paid in the various circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

Life Without Barriers, Australian Unity and Achieve Australia have confirmed they will pay special leave.

Life Without Barriers

LWB will provide all front line staff, including casuals up to two weeks’ special leave – ‘Additional Support Leave’ – if staff are unable to attend work because they are ill with a COVID-19 related illness; are required to self-quarantine; or are required to care or support for a family member; and they have exhausted or are not eligible for personal/carers leave.

Australian Unity

Australian Unity will provide 10 business days of special leave for staff, including casuals, with COVID-19 concerns and require to self-isolate. This will not be available to those who chose to go overseas and have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. It will only be available when staff have exhausted their personal leave or are not eligible for personal/carers leave.

Achieve Australia

Achieve Australia will provide an additional 10 days of special leave (pro rata) for permanent and casual staff who are exposed to confirmed cases of COVID-19 as a result of service delivery. This special leave will be accessible in addition to a staff member’s personal leave balance. Achieve Australia advised causals will be paid at base hourly rate without loading and will be based on their average engagement pattern over the past three months.

If you are eligible for this additional leave, you will receive a letter from Achieve Australia.

Disability Trust

The Disability Trust has informed us it will not provide special leave.


Unfortunately, ConnectAbility is not providing special leave to its staff, including casuals, in the event they require time off due to COVID-19. Your union will be make further representations on behalf of members. We believe not offering special leave is only going to encourage staff to come to work when they should be self-isolating and continue the spread of this highly contagious virus.

We will keep you updated. For those members whose service providers are providing special leave, if you have any questions you should contact your Human Resources or any policies or FAQs which have been developed to assist you.

What have other service providers advised?

Many service providers are yet to advise your union if any special leave will be provided to their staff if they require time off work due to COVID-19. Like many of the other service providers we believe they too should follow suit and provide at minimum 10 days of special leave.

The following providers are yet to respond:

  • Benevolent Society
  • Aruma
  • FindingYellow
  • Mid North Coast
  • Ability Options
  • Northcott
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance
  • Live Better Community Services
  • Disability Services Australia

Join the CPSU NSW

Not a member? Join the CPSU NSW HERE.

Contact the CPSU NSW

Industrial Officers
Jessica Moore
Sharny Chalmers

Cora Sarmiento
Tony Hay
Shane Elliott
Gino di Candilo