Nash announces increased support for Living Organ Donors Programme

Employers offering leave to employees who are donating organs will receive extra support from the Federal Coalition Government as of July 1.

Page last updated: 30 June 2015

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30 June 2015

Employers offering leave to employees who are donating organs will receive extra support from the Federal Coalition Government as of July 1.

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash today announced a 50 per cent extension on the period of time for which the government pays employers who offered paid leave to an employee donating an organ.

“We are proud to extend the Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Programme from six weeks to nine,” Minister Nash said today.

“The programme aims to compensate for the time off work associated with living organ donation and encourage employers to support employees who choose to donate an organ.

Prospective donors are tested to ensure they are physically and mentally able to donate. If surgery proceeds, the donor will require a significant amount of time off work to recover.

“Some donors may be required to take this period as leave without pay, or they may exhaust their paid leave entitlements. This can lead to financial stress with some donors feeling compelled to return to work against medical advice.

“The programme provides a financial contribution to employers who have paid an employee for leave to attend medical appointments to assess their suitability, and undergo and recover from living donor surgery.”

Minister Nash announced a further two years of funding for the programme from July 2015.

Minister Nash said the payment made by the employer may be in the form of paid leave, or an ex-gratia payment in lieu of paid leave. The payment to employers is to either replenish an employee's leave or contribute towards reimbursing the employer, where they have made a payment to their employee in place of income lost due to organ donation.

“The Programme is not an incentive to donate,” Minister Nash said. “It is designed to help support those people who wish to give this precious gift, but cannot afford to due to loss of income and the financial stress it would cause for them and their family.”

For more information on the programme visit the Department of Health's website.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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