An essential workers leave scheme announced today provides support for essential businesses which might otherwise struggle to provide leave to workers who need to stay away from work to comply with the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 public health measures.
The scheme provides the essential business with $585.80 per week for full-time and $350.00 per week for part-time essential business workers who cannot work from home. Like the Wage Subsidy, businesses are required to make best endeavours to pay 80% of the employee’s usual wage and at a minimum the rate of the leave payment (or the employee’s actual wages if they are usually less than the leave payment).
The scheme is focussed on three groups of essential business workers:
- Workers who are self-isolating in accordance with public health guidance because they have contracted the virus or have come into contact with someone who has contracted the virus (or have a dependent they need to care for who is sick or self-isolating)
- Those deemed at higher risk if they contract COVID-19, and in accordance with public health guidance should self-isolate for the duration of the lockdown (and potentially longer)
- Those who have household members who are deemed at higher risk if they contract COVID-19, and in accordance with public health guidance and as such should self-isolate for the duration of the lockdown (and potentially longer) to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to that household member.
For full details of today's announcement, read the media release on the Beehive website.
Read more, including how to apply for the Essential Workers Leave scheme, on the Work and Income website.