The government launched a new $ 350 payment to help businesses cover staff who need to self-isolate while awaiting test results. Photo / Tania Whyte
A $ 350 payment to employers to pay for workers who need to self-isolate pending an exam but are unable to work from home starts tomorrow.
The new Short-Term No-Show Payments (STAP), announced in December, also support people who have dependents who need to stay at home.
The one-time payment will be available through the Ministry of Social Development and is an extension of the remaining Leave Assistance Scheme.
Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood said STAP could also be used to cover workers’ sick leave costs if they feel unwell but do not have sick leave.
“We have listened to businesses and workers who say we need a way to support businesses to help workers stay at home if they are tested.”
How does Short Term No-Show Payment work?
If an employee who needs to self-isolate has taken sick leave who is eligible to do so, the employer must use $ 350 to pay the worker’s normal salary or wages.
If a staff member has spent all of their sick leave, the employer should try to add the $ 350 payment to the worker’s normal salary or at least pay the worker the full absence payment.
Workers are not required to exercise any or all of their paid leave entitlements before their employer applies for Short-Term Absence Payments on their behalf.
If the employee’s regular salary is less than or equal to the Short-term Absence Payment, the business must pay the worker the regular salary. Any difference should be used to help pay for other affected staff.
To get paid, businesses must sign a statement that they meet the criteria and businesses can only apply once in a 30 day period for each worker unless medical advice specifies otherwise.
Covid-19 Short-Term No-Show Payments are available for:
• businesses (including registered businesses, sole traders, self-employed persons, registered charities, incorporated societies, non-governmental organizations or post-settlement governance entities) in New Zealand that employ and pay the worker named in their application.
• businesses that employ a variety of jobs, including full-time, part-time, casual, fixed-term contracts.
Businesses can apply on behalf of workers who are unable to work from home and:
• stay at home while waiting for the results of the Covid-19 test.
• Parents or caregivers of dependents who live at home while waiting for their Covid-19 test results.
• A person who has been told to self-isolate by a health worker or doctor because they are a household member or secondary contact while they await test results from close contact.