Vulnerable bus drivers have had their special COVID-19 leave extended, after being told they need to return to work tomorrow.
Leave for “at risk” drivers will be extended until 26 May as a result of the policy change by the Brisbane City Council.
Vulnerable bus drivers relieved by policy change
The BCC agreed to extend COVID-19 leave with the initial leave period of 20 days due to end today.
Drivers expressed concern that they will have to access sick leave or other leave to continue staying home.
A council spokesperson said it is working to find alternate roles for vulnerable workers:
“Every council staff member is valued and we will need to have them with us when the city rebounds post-coronavirus.
“There are staff who cannot continue in their primary job including staff who are considered ‘vulnerable’ in the current circumstances.
“Our intention is to find safe, meaningful alternative work for anyone in this category who is able to work.
“It may be unrelated to their current job but it will mean they are gainfully employed within council and continue to be paid.”
Union welcomes policy change
Rail Tram and Bus Union assistant state secretary Tom Brown welcomed the decision by the BCC.
“People were being phoned by management to say their leave was finished and they would have to go back to work or access their sick leave to continue staying at home.
“The drivers were getting calls from management instructing them to return to work on Monday or get a medical certificate.
“It puts our members a bit more at ease, some were terrified at the prospect of having to return to work during a pandemic.”
The leave arrangements are scheduled for further review on 26 May.