Pandemic leave extended to June 2023 - Qld Health

Published: 11 November 2022
The Queensland Government has extended its Pandemic Leave entitlement for employees of Queensland Health (QH) and the Queensland Ambulance Service to at least 30 June 2023, thanks to pressure by the QNMU.

The entitlement was set to expire on 31 October 2022, due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration ending then.

However, the QNMU wrote to QH Director-General requesting the pandemic leave entitlement continue, given health workers are still required to stay out of their workplace for seven days if they are COVID-19 positive. 

Shortly after, the government agreed to do this, and have now published a new Health Employment Directive (no. 6) stating the pandemic leave entitlement is extended to 30 June 2023.

Using Pandemic Leave before Sick Leave

Remember, QH nurses and midwives can now access this pandemic leave before having to access their personal sick leave if they test positive to COVID-19 or are caring for someone with COVID-19 – backdated to 13 December 2021.

The Health Employment Directive (no. 3) outlining this can be accessed here.

The QNMU fought hard to convince the government to implement this change. If you had to take sick leave after 13 December 2021 due to COVID-19, you can now request that this sick leave be recredited and replaced with Pandemic Leave.

How do I request my sick leave be recredited and replaced with pandemic leave?

You can now apply to amend your previously approved sick leave request to access a maximum of up to 20 days paid special pandemic leave, in place of your own sick leave.

Applications for all leave are to be submitted in myHR via the leave request and approved by the relevant delegate. 

You must provide supporting evidence that you had a positive COVID-19 result during this time. Evidence includes:

  • an email, text message or other formal notification of your or your immediate family or household member’s positive RAT or PCR test, or
  • if you no longer have a copy of a test result, a self-declaration that you were diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, or you were required to provide care for an immediate family or household member who was diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. 

Queensland Health has also confirmed with the QNMU that if you had COVID-19 during a period when it was impossible to get a RAT or PCR test (around January – February 2022), you can complete a statutory declaration saying you believed you had COVID-19 but were unable to have it confirmed via a test.

If you need assistance with making an application for backdating your Pandemic Leave, please speak with your line manager in the first instance, then contact the QNMU.