After immense pressure from businesses, medical experts, and unions and surging case numbers the federal government has chosen to reinstate the $750 pandemic leave payments until September 30, with a 50/50 cost share between the Commonwealth and the states and territories.
Following a snap national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders on Saturday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the restoration of the isolation payments for eligible workers impacted by COVID-19.
From Wednesday, employees who do not have sick leave but are required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 will have access to crisis support of up to $750, with the amount varying depending on the hours of work lost.
The payment is also available for people who need to stay home and care for a person with COVID-19, including children under 16 or a person with a disability, as well as close contacts.
Mr Albanese said continuing the payment was appropriate with cases rising across the country.
“I want to make sure that people aren’t left behind, that vulnerable people are looked after and that no-one is faced with the unenviable choice of not being able to isolate properly without losing an income and without being put in a situation that is very difficult,” he said.
A national crisis payment for anyone with COVID-19 and in severe financial hardship will also be reinstated through to September 30.
National cabinet will continue to meet every two to three weeks until the end of September, with cases across the country expected to peak in August.