Pandemic leave payment to stay indefinitely however limited to three every six months: PM Albanese

"One can only make three claims over a period of six months, except for some extraordinary cases."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment (PLDP) at current rates will continue indefinitely.

This decision was taken in a National Cabinet meeting held virtually to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to receive an update from Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.

All state and territory leaders agreed to Prime Minister Albanese’s proposal to keep payments at current rates beyond 30 September 2022.

“The payment will remain available for as long as mandatory isolation periods are applied by all States and Territories.”


  • Pandemic leave payments will be kept as long as mandatory isolation is required
  • The $540 payments were due to expire this month
  • The government will limit how often the payment can be claimed
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In the meeting, PM Albanese said, “While the government requires mandated isolation, the government has a responsibility to provide support.”

“We remain obviously of the view if people are sick, whether from COVID or from other health issues, they should not be at work,”

added Mr Albanese

However, there is a limitation to the number of claims to be made.

“One can only make three claims over a period of six months, except for some extraordinary cases.”

The payment will remain at a maximum of $540 for people required to isolate for five days.

Prime Minister also cautioned against some evidence of people defrauding the payment scheme.

“With 2.6 per cent of claims automatically triggering fraud checks since July, with more than half of those claims ultimately rejected,”

said Mr Albanese.

National Cabinet agreed the Commonwealth and States and Territories would continue 50:50 cost-sharing arrangements for the payment.

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Overall the scheme has paid out $2.2 billion, with costs now equally shared between the Commonwealth and states and territories.

It was notified that in the first six months of this year, more than half of the claims made were by people who had claimed more than once, and 13 per cent were by people who claimed four or more times — or once every six and a half weeks.