The continued outbreak of coronavirus in Victoria shows why paid pandemic leave is necessary, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says.
But Mr Barr says the ACT can't commit to paying for such a scheme.
There have been calls from unions and some industry sectors for the government to introduce paid pandemic leave to ensure people who are told to isolate after being diagnosed with coronavirus or as a close contact of someone with the disease stay home.
Paid pandemic leave has already been introduced for workers under three awards in the aged care sector after a Fair Work Commission decision, but employers say they need government funding for the scheme to work.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated on Thursday the government was investigating options but Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter was tight-lipped on Friday, explaining the systems that were already in place.
"Now whether or not there is room for some consolidation and consistency of those three approaches is something that we're looking at, at the moment," Mr Porter said in Perth.
"And of course when you look at those types of consolidations or consistency of policies you look at what the effect on businesses, in this case the aged care sector, might be."
Mr Barr said he was surprised and disappointed a pandemic leave scheme hadn't been introduced already, but said the ACT wasn't in a position to go it alone, both because industrial relations was a federal issue, and financially.
"What we do have is an immediate emergency relief scheme," he said.
"It does need to be national and it does need to cover a broad base. The second smallest government in Australia cannot provide a scheme on that quantum.
"We do need a federal scheme."
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said lockdown measures were struggling to contain the virus in that state, with reports people were going to work while sick and infecting their coworkers.