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Short Term Absence Payments

Published 10 Feb 2021

Another Government subsidy has comes into effect this week: Short Term Absence Payments (STAP).

Designed to support the Employer to pay workers to stay at home while waiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

A single payment of $350 per person is available every 30 days (unless a health official orders further tests within that period).

The subsidy is available for all workers; permanent, fixed term, casuals and self-employed, who are unable to work from home and who are:

  • staying home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result, in accordance with public health guidance, or are
  • the parent or caregiver of a dependant who is staying home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, in accordance with public health guidance, and the dependant needs support to do so safely, or are
  • a household member or secondary contact (as described in public health guidance) of someone who is a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and the worker has been advised to stay at home while waiting for the close contact’s test results.

The employer applies on behalf of the worker, after discussion with them, the covid-19 test cannot have been before Feb 9th 2021, and you must apply within 8 weeks of the test. Your workers do not need to have exhausted their sick or annual leave entitlements.

The same rules of distribution as last year's wages subsidies apply in this instance also. The $350 has to be used by the employer to pay the worker applied for in the first instance. If their absence payment would normally be less than $350 they only get that lesser amount, they are not supposed to profit from this scheme. Any surplus from the $350 can be used to pay other staff. This scheme does not remove any of your legal obligations of normal Employment Law.

If your worker returns a positive test or is told to isolate for an extended period you may also be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

To apply for STAP follow the link below: