From 9 February 2021 employers are eligible to receive financial support from the Government if they have an employee that needs to isolate while they are waiting for COVID-19 test results, and if they cannot work from home. 

The Short-Term Absence Payment is part of the Government’s Business Support Package to “help reduce financial pressure on business” and to remove barriers to testing.  An employer will receive a $350 payment in relevant cases, where a COVID-19 test took place on, or after, 9 February 2021.

The payment is available to employees who are required to remain at home in accordance with the public health guidelines.  These employees can either be awaiting their own test results or be caring for a depending person who is awaiting test results (for instance a child).

An employee may also be eligible if they have been advised to stay at home as a result of being in direct, or secondary contact, with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you need to apply for the STAP, you can do so via the Ministry of Social Development website.  More information is available on their website.

Minister for Workplace Relations Michael Wood says the “STAP complements the existing COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to support businesses when they have employees at risk of spreading infection…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.”