Overwhelming Majority Support Government Paid Leave for COVID-19 Self-Isolation

New research shows an overwhelming majority of Australians (82.5%) support the ACTU proposal that the Government guarantee two weeks paid leave for all workers who are forced to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19. 

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,723 Australians on the night of 18 March 2020.

Key Findings:

  • An overwhelming majority of Australians (82.5%) support the ACTU proposal that the Government guarantee two weeks paid leave for all workers who are forced to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19.
  • Furthermore, a majority of Australians (56.6%) strongly supported the proposal.
  • Only 12.1% of Australians opposed or strongly opposed the proposal.
  • Majority support for the proposal was seen across all parties: Coalition (67.4%), Labor (94%), Greens (97.3%), Independents (86.7%), ‘Other’ (72.6%). 

“This proposal from the ACTU has economic benefits and healthcare benefits. It is overwhelmingly popular with Australians because it is a sensible proposal to help ensure workers self-isolate where required,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of the Australia Institute. 

“It is in the community’s best interest that no person should feel desperate enough to work while they have been ordered to self-isolate. A Government guarantee of two weeks paid leave to all workers in this situation will go a long way to ensuring self-isolation happens. 

“It would be wise for the Federal Government to address the economic barriers workers face to correctly follow the public health directives of the Government’s own health agencies.

“It is a good health policy, it is a good economic policy, and it is a policy that most Australians want to see the Federal Government take on board.”

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