Changes to leave arrangements relating to Covid-19

Key Points

  • Mandatory isolation periods have ended for COVID-19.
  • Leave arrangements relating to COVID-19 have returned to those provided under the Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020 23 (the Enterprise Agreement) and the Fair Work Act 2009.
  • Determination 2020/10 – Leave for casual employees relating to COVID-19 has been revoked.

The National Cabinet agreed to end mandatory isolation periods for COVID‑19 effective from 14 October 2022. The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has updated its advice on COVID-19 leave arrangements which guides decision-making on attendance at work, accessibility of leave and other flexibility arrangements.

Consistent with the APSC’s advice, we have updated our policies to reflect the National Cabinet decision. The key elements of our updated approach to managing COVID-19 are:

  • MOP(S) Act employees who test positive for COVID-19, are symptomatic, and are unable to perform work, can access personal leave consistent with the provisions set out in the Commonwealth Parliament Members of Parliament (Staff) Agreement 2020-23.
  • MOP(S) Act employees who test positive for COVID-19 but remain well should be supported by their Parliamentarian with working from home arrangements, where appropriate.
  • MOP(S) Act employees who test negative for COVID-19, but are displaying symptoms should not be expected to attend their workplace by their Parliamentarian, until their symptoms have cleared. Where practical, and if the staff member is well enough, working from home should be facilitated where possible.
  • MOP(S) Act employees who are a household contact of a positive COVID-19 person should assess their risk of exposure, monitor for symptoms and consider working from home, where possible.

Consistent with the APSC’s advice, leave arrangements have now returned to their usual arrangements:

  • Requests for paid miscellaneous leave will need the prior approval of the Department of Finance and will not typically be available for ongoing and non-ongoing employees in relation to COVID-19.
  • Special leave for casual employees in relation to COVID-19 has been withdrawn. Casual employees can access leave arrangements in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement and Fair Work Act 2009.

Yours sincerely

Don Farrell

Special Minister of State

23 January 2023

Circular 2023/01