A landmark decision from the Fair Work Commission that will see residential aged care workers receive two weeks of paid pandemic leave has been welcomed by Tasmanian unions.
However, concerns remain for those casual workers unable to work regular hours with fears some might fall through the gaps.
Aged care workers, including nurses, will now be eligible for paid pandemic leave, with variations to take effect from Wednesday and remain for three months.
In a ruling released Monday the Fair Work Commission acknowledged the risk of employees without access to leave entitlements, who might not report COVID-19 symptoms and continue to work out of financial need.
While welcoming of the decision, Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday said there were loopholes.
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"This is a great outcome for workers in aged care," she said. "But there are still some potential gaps, because the decision has basically said it will apply to casuals only, if they work regular and systematic shifts.
"However, what we know for casuals, particularly in aged care, is they don't always work regular and systematic shifts. They often work between facilities ... so it could be hard to establish."
Many of the recent deaths in Victoria's second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic have been linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities.
Health and Community Services Union assistant state secretary Robbie Moore said it was now vital that employers in Tasmania honoured the agreement.
"The work now for us is that most aged care workers in Tasmania are actually toggled by an enterprise agreement," he said.
"So what we will be working on is getting employers to honour this decision by agreeing to include it."
A spokesperson for Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the government had noted the decision of the Fair Work Commission and would now consider the full reasons in detail before responding further, noting the support measures already in place and announced.
"Aged care providers were updated on Saturday via a statement from the Health Department [followed by a meeting on Sunday], with a clear commitment by the Commonwealth on how it would support workers relating to working at only one facility," the spokesperson said.
"Draft guidelines were released to industry last night with the expectation of finalisation by the end of the week."
Ms Munday said they would continue to lobby for paid pandemic leave for all workers.
"If we are serious about flattening the curve and containing outbreaks in work places, we need to remove what is obviously becoming the biggest barrier, which is loss of income and fears over job security."