NSW expands COVID-19 test and isolation programme

Unions have lauded the decision to provide payments to workers over 17 years of age if certain conditions are met.
By: | September 13, 2021

Unions in New South Wales (NSW) have lauded the state government’s decision to expand eligibility for its programme for workers to test and isolate themselves for COVID-19.

Under the expanded eligibility, workers over 17 years of age without access to paid leave, or the ability to work from home are eligible for payments worth A$320 (US$236) if they have taken a COVID-19 test and need to self-isolate. 

Workers who have to care for someone who has to self-isolate and do not have access to paid leave or the ability to telework are also eligible for the payout. 

“The link between economic security and public health has never been clearer. No one should pay a financial penalty for looking after their health and doing the right thing by the community,” said Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW. 

“We need to make it as easy as possible for workers to do the right thing and know their COVID status, regardless of whether they are permanent, casual or contract workers,” Morey said.

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“Expanding access to this payment is critically important. The Premier can add to this important initiative by also making the case tomorrow at [the] National Cabinet for universal paid vaccination leave,” he added in a statement.