From today workers in NSW will be able to access the same $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they need to self-isolate for 14 days.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed Prime Minister Scott Morrison had given the lump sum payment the green light, telling reporters she wanted people to feel supported if they have to stop working and isolate because they have come into contact with a COVID-19 case.
“The support is there. We want to make sure, first and foremost, that those who need to isolate do so,” she said.
“Our first and foremost priority is to keep the community safe. If you have been asked to isolate whether you have been a close contact or whether you have symptoms or for any other reason, please follow those instructions and the government is here to support you.”
The $1500 payment is available to workers who have exhausted their sick leave or don‘t have sick leave available and have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days by health authorities.
The financial relief was made available in Victoria last month, with Mr Morrison saying at the time it was to ensure there was “ no economic reason for you to go to work”.
Tasmanians can also access the lump sum and Western Australia also received the payment last week. All states are eligible it and can request access.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan opted his state into the payment scheme despite no community transmission, telling reporters he wanted to be “prepared for the worst”.
“If we’ve learned anything from our counterparts on the east coast, it is complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the state and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given,” he said.
“The message is clear. Should you become sick with COVID-19 or have to care for someone with COVID-19 then you should absolutely not be working or considering returning to work until you have the all clear.
“I hope that Western Australians don’t have to take-up this payment arrangement however knowing it is available should we need it ensures we are prepared for the worst.”
“What we will be doing is establishing a pandemic leave disaster payment,’’ Mr Morrison said.
“What we’re dealing with here is a disaster. And we need a disaster payment when it comes for people who have to isolate for a period of 14 days through no fault of their own, regardless of their job — what job they’re in or employment they’re in – they need that support.”
NSW today recorded its first coronavirus death in five weeks, a man in his early 70s linked to the Sydney CBD cluster.
The state recorded two new COVID-19 cases; a taxi driver who had worked for several days while infectious across south-west Sydney and the south coast, as well as a returned traveller in quarantine.
In Victoria there was good news with just 14 new cases and five cases, the lowest coronavirus numbers in months.
WHERE IS THE PANDEMIC LEAVE DISASTER PAYMENT AVAILABLE?
The lump sum is available for workers in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and now NSW.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT?
In order to be eligible you must have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days by health authorities or be caring for someone with coronavirus and unable to earn an income as a result.
Those that can claim the payment are workers aged 17 and older that don‘t have leave entitlement such as carer’s leave, personal leave or pandemic sick leave.
Parents are eligible if they are caring for a child under the age of 16 who either has coronavirus or has been advised to self-isolate for 14 days.
People in a couple can both claim the $1500 payment.
FROM WHEN CAN I CLAIM THE PAYMENT?
In NSW anyone who fits the criteria and has been directed to self-isolate from September 17 is eligible for the lump sum.
Tasmanian workers have been able to claim the payment from August 22, Victoria from July 5 and Western Australia from September 11.