NSW LABOR CALLS FOR TEST AND ISOLATE PAYMENTS
NSW Labor is urging the Government to introduce a support payment for people who have to get tested and isolate to help stop the spread of the virus.
Under the current arrangements, the Federal Government will offer support payments if a person has tested positive and are required to isolate, but there is no payment for NSW workers who are in isolation awaiting test results.
Victoria introduced a $450 payment so people could still have some financial support while they were forced to self-isolated.
This payment ensured workers including casuals and those without appropriate leave benefits were able to isolate and stopped the potential further spread of COVID.
The Victorian model also included an eligibility criteria including not receiving income or salary during isolation, having exhausted leave and or entitlements and not receiving Federal Government assistance payments.
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Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park says a ‘test and isolate’ payment would encourage more people to do the right thing and self-isolate while awaiting test results.
“It’s time NSW introduced a test and isolate payment,” Mr Park said.
“Right across NSW people are doing it tough. And we hear anecdotally people are not getting testing because they can’t afford to stay at home while they await their test results.
“For people who are in insecure work, or who have little to no sick leave, missing a few days of work to isolate is the difference between being able to put food on the table and pay bills.
“We don’t want any disincentives for people to not get tested and isolate. We want everyone who has symptoms or who has been in a hotspot to get tested.
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Sophie Cotsis says this is a common sense approach and the NSW Government needs to implement this as soon as possible.
“This is a measure that will assist people who are suffering and have bills to pay, and dealing with many issues especially those in essential work as well and helping their families,” Ms Cotsis said.
“Provide people with the appropriate financial support so they can do the right thing without the stress of losing any income.
“We all have to work together to get this virus under control and a key to that is getting tested and isolating when required,” she said.