The announcement today from the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong, clarifying specific leave entitlements for employees with regards to the COVID-19 health crisis, has been well received by the Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch.

The announcement, which includes either the possibility of working from home or two weeks’ paid special leave for all employees impacted by COVID-19, comes after the union’s correspondence with the diocese calling for a compassionate policy covering the personal and directed leave needs of staff, including casual staff.

Affected casual employees will be entitled to up to 10 days (two working weeks) leave if they are unable to attend scheduled work because of the workplace response to COVID-19.

The measures sought by the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch were achieved in the Wollongong diocese. The adopted measures represent a high standard for employers managing the impact of coronavirus through adherence to directions and recommendations by agencies including the union movement, NSW Health, and the NSW Department of Education.

“This considered and compassionate policy is a great response to a complex situation,” said IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary, Mark Northam.

“The Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong’s workplace response to the coronavirus is quick and easy to comprehend for employees and will relieve a considerable amount of angst in workplaces during the ongoing health crisis.”

The Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER), on behalf of Catholic Education/Schools Offices across NSW and the ACT, has also been in communication with the union regarding the workplace responses to the coronavirus. Its policy is broadly the same as that of the Wollongong Diocese, but leaves the fate of casual employees to the discretion of individual dioceses.

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch calls on all employers to follow the lead of the Wollongong diocese and publicly support their workers and extend employee entitlements to include casual staff.


Mark Northam, Secretary IEUA NSW/ACT Branch mobile: 0427 667 061

Carol Matthews, Deputy Secretary IEUA NSW/ACT Branch mobile: 0418 272 902

Media contacts: Monica Crouch (02) 8202 8900

Bronwyn Ridgway (a/h) 0433 373 109


The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 30,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post secondary colleges.


Authorised by Mark Northam, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary


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