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Unions call on government to pay casuals coronavirus sick leave

Australia’s largest union is calling on the federal government to support workers amid growing coronavirus fears.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions wants the government to legislate two weeks paid “special leave” for all workers affected by coronavirus isolation or business closure.

Casual workers make up almost a quarter of the workforce but aren’t entitled to paid sick leave and the union says the government should help pay their wages.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus tells Deborah Knight this would help businesses get through the coronavirus crisis.

“You want to make sure that people don’t have a barrier to staying home if they are infected.

“If they think they’re going to lose money, and won’t be able to pay the bills, they might just go to work and infect others… and it’s really important we don’t let that happen.

“We think that big business will probably be able to cover this… we’re worried about small business, they do need to be lent a hand.”

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Image: Getty/Barcroft Media 

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