New emergency leave provision for residential aged care

The Government has released resources on the new emergency leave provision, with a factsheet for providers and a factsheet for residents.

24 Jun 2020

Emergency leave allows permanent aged care residents to temporarily take leave from an aged care facility in the event of a declared emergency situation, such as a natural disaster or the current COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The new leave provision enables, for a specified time period and location, aged care residents to take emergency leave (non-hospital), rather than using their existing social leave entitlements.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been deemed an emergency situation.  Emergency leave will be available from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • During this time residents will be able to take leave without impacting their social leave balances.
    • As a result, residents’ social leave balances for 2020-21 will start at 52 days on 1 October 2020.
    • Any fees paid by residents for exceeding their 52 day social leave limit between 1 April and 30 September 2020 will need to be reimbursed by their provider.
    • Residential aged care homes will continue to be paid residential care subsidy when residents are on emergency leave.
  • A payment system solution is being designed by Services Australia for a late June 2020 release.  Functionality will include suspending the social leave count during the emergency leave period.  Providers should continue to enter social leave events for a care recipient as per the current process.
  • There will be no additional leave coding required by providers. 


The Government will provide further advice on these changes shortly.


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