Use of Absence Days during lockdown of the Greater Sydney region

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW has been seeking additional Allowable Absent Days in addition to the 42 Absent Days for children as the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) faces another four weeks of lockdown (ending 28 August 2021).

Currently, the number of Absent Days is hardcoded into law (ie the Federal Parliament’s A New Tax (Family Assistance) Act 1999). In other words, changes to that number will require the Federal Parliament to pass an amendment, and the Federal Parliament will resume sitting on 3 August 2021.

That said, through ACA’s already ongoing engagement with the Federal Minister and Federal Government, it is hoped that the Federal Minister for Education will use his Minister’s Rules to increase the number of Absent Days given that during this Greater Sydney lockdown:

  • there has been to date a potential use of a maximum of 22 Absent Days from 1 July 2021 to 30 July 2021; and
  • it is anticipated that a potential use of a maximum of 42 Absent Days from 1 July 2021 to 28 August 2021.

Parents/guardians are already concerned that utilising the first 42 Absent Days during this Greater Sydney lockdown (as prescribed by A New Tax (Family Assistance) Act 1999), will unfairly render them and their children with less Absent Days for use during the remainder of this financial year after the lockdown has been lifted.

Should you require any further information/clarification, please contact the CCS Helpdesk on 1300 667 276 and/or ACA NSW team on 1300 556 330 or