We are financially supporting employees from potential loss of income due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the announcement of its “casual cushion” policy.
As a not-for-profit leader in specialist services for people living with spinal cord damage, we have introduced a policy to ensure employees continue to have income to support their families if they suffer symptoms of coronavirus and need to self-isolate.
The policy cushions the financial loss to casual workers who could otherwise fall on hard times during self-isolation, which includes if they are being tested for coronavirus or are isolated as per current Australian Government advice.
CEO Mark Townend said as a caring and responsible employer, Spinal Life was helping employees to also take responsibility for their individual situations.
“Spinal Life Australia is made up of 830 employees, including many casual workers who aren’t generally covered for inability to work,” Mr Townend said.
“And while the introduction of paid sick leave for casual employees during the coronavirus spread is a very real cost to the organisation, the physical and emotional cost to our employees who may suffer financial hardship because they need to isolate is far greater.
“By introducing this policy, any staff member who exhibits symptoms associated with coronavirus and who has been assessed by a doctor can self-isolate without the worry or fear of losing income, as well as those who meet the self-isolation restrictions as per the Australia Government’s direction.
“This avoids putting their own health at risk as well as importantly the health of our clients.”
The policy covers all Personal Support Workers (PSWs), a casual workforce who deliver personal support to people with spinal cord damage at home, work and in the community to assist them in their daily lives.
As part of the policy, PSWs will be given an additional $10 reimbursement per fortnight to help purchase cleaning and hygiene items such as hand sanitiser, hand soap and paper towels.
“This is just one way we can help our trusted employees take the necessary steps if needed to help protect our members and clients without worrying about loss of work and subsequent loss of income,” Mr Townend said.
“There is still so much we don’t know about coronavirus but what we do know is that we need to practice good self-care and hygiene and extend this care and consideration to others.”
Mr Townend said he hoped other agencies across Australia will follow its lead in protecting staff and clients.
For more information about reducing risk and staying up to date with COVID-19 information, click here.