Employers who have staff who need to self-isolate but can't work from home will be eligible for a payment from the Government.
The Short-Term Absence Payment will be available from Tuesday the Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.
"Business has a key role to play in helping New Zealand navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sepuloni said in a statement.
“Testing for COVID-19 remains a critical ongoing element in our elimination strategy. We need people to take the test if they feel unwell and removing any barriers is important.
“From tomorrow, businesses whose workers need to stay at home while they await a test result can contact MSD and apply for a one-off $350 payment to help pay that staff member while they await a result, if they are unable to work from home"
The scheme will also extend to household contacts who are isolating while waiting for a close contact to get tested.
The Short-Term Absence Payment can be used to cover the cost of a worker’s sick leave for those who are feeling unwell and is also available to enable businesses to continue to pay workers who aren’t eligible for sick leave or don’t have any sick leave left.
"This helps everyone stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Workplace Relations Michael Wood said.
“Increasing the minimum entitlement of sick leave to ten days and giving employers a helping hand throughout the pandemic shows our balanced approach.”
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme will continue to be available where someone has been told to self-isolate because:
- · they, or a dependent, test positive for COVID-19, or
- · they, or a dependent, are a close contact of COVID-19 case, or
- · they, or someone in their household, are at increased risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 and is told by a doctor or health official to self-isolate
Businesses can apply from 9am on 9 February 2021. Applications can be made up to eight weeks after a worker (who is unable to work from home) receives a COVID-19 test. The test must have taken place on or after 9 February 2021.
A business (including self-employed people) can apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment on behalf of workers who cannot work from home and are:
- · staying home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, in accordance with public health guidance or requirements
- · the parent or caregiver of a dependant who is staying home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, in accordance with public health guidance or requirements, and the dependant needs support to do so safely
- · a household member or secondary contact (as described in public health guidance) of someone who is a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and the worker has been advised by a doctor or health official to stay at home while waiting for the close contact’s test results
Further information can be found here