Public servants given a full month’s paid sick leave just in case flu strikes – despite taxpayers already spending more than $580 million a year on leave
- Queensland public servants have been granted a full month’s paid sick leave
- Taxpayers already spend $580 million a year on Qld public servants’ sick leave
- The leave entitlement is called ‘pandemic leave’ – and to be taken in a flu crisis
- The policy has been rubbished by industry leaders on Friday as ‘over the top’
Public servants have been granted a month’s paid sick leave just in case the flu strikes, despite taxpayers already spending more than $580 million a year on government workers’ sick leave.
Employees in all Queensland government departments have been awarded an additional 20 days of ‘pandemic leave’, bringing the standard 10 days’ sick leave up to a staggering 30.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace told government departments to grant the extra paid leave to public servants who exhaust their sick leave in the grip of a declared flu pandemic.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace told government departments to grant the extra paid leave to public servants who exhaust their sick leave in the grip of a declared flu pandemic emergency
The policy has been slammed by the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ), as ‘over-the-top’.
The industry argued government workers already had some of the best leave entitlements in the western world.
‘It is worth reminding the Government, whose largesse is paid largely by small businesses and their employees, that the same conditions and pay most certainly do not extend to the private sector,’ spokesman Dan Petrie said.
The CCIQ suggested the scheme was only recently introduced, but the Labor government said it came into effect in 2009 amid concerns of a potential swine flu epidemic.
A government spokesman said the measures were not used then and have never been activated, although they are updated along with other employee entitlements on a regular basis.
The extra leave would be granted to public servants in a flu pandemic (flu shot is pictured)
The current Public Service Directive says extra leave would be required in a flu crisis due to the number of public servants affected by school and childcare facility closures.
It would force working parents to stay home to look after their children.
Should the leave be granted, taxpayers would be forced to fork out more than the $580 million already spent on government workers’ sick leave.
Workers in the public sector currently take an average of nine days sick leave per year, one day shy of their 10-day allowance.